Wednesday Open Thread | Getting More Blacks Into Competitive Swimming

You know that this is close to my heart.

Black Kids Swim Wants to Help Get More Black Children Into Competitive Swimming

Panama Jackson
Yesterday 10:00am

When many of us think about athletic paths for our children to follow, competitive swimming isn’t typically high up on the list. Black Kids Swim (BKS) is an organization trying to change both the way we look at swimming in general and competitive swimming as an outlet and scholarship source for black children. We talked with the founder of BKS, Ebony Rosemond, about her journey and where BKS is hoping to take swimming in the black community.

Very Smart Brothas: What is Black Kids Swim and what compelled you to start the organization (and site) and begin this journey? Tell me about yourself and your background.

Ebony Rosemond: Officially, Black Kids Swim is a nonprofit organization, based in Largo, Md., dedicated to increasing the number of black competitive swimmers. The sport is not diverse. We’re changing that. There’s a ton of educational and professional opportunities out there for proficient swimmers—and our kids in large part can’t access those opportunities. We’re changing that as well.

I started the organization because my daughter is a competitive swimmer. Around age 11, she got really, really good. And we noticed she was the only black girl, or one of very few, at the more competitive invitational meets. On the way home from one of these meets, she googled “black kids swim” and the returns were saddening. Stories about drownings, depressing statistics (black kids are five times more likely to drown according to the CDC; 70 percent of African Americans lack basic swim skills and on and on). So we decided to do something about it.

Before BKS there was nowhere for black swim parents to go for advice. Our FB Page and group is amazing—even I learn something every day. I’m a mom, so seeing the next generation succeed is my responsibility. Our kids are drowning (literally and figuratively)—they aren’t graduating from high school, they have higher rates of obesity and diabetes than ever before, they are going to jail at young ages for longer sentences than anyone else. BKS is my contribution. If some kid gets a BKS scholarship to join a summer swim team then that’s one kid who won’t drown, who may get a scholarship to a private high school to be on the swim team, who may get a college athletic scholarship, who may work summers as a lifeguard, who may become the director of aquatics of a municipality one day. At the very least, that kids’ children won’t grow up to be afraid of the water.

We have to change the relationship the black community has with the water. Before the trans-Atlantic slave trade, we were the best swimmers (Kevin Dawson has done extensive research on this). BKS is working to end this tradition of black people fearing the water.

Read the rest of the interview at the link above.

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110 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | Getting More Blacks Into Competitive Swimming

  1. rikyrah says:


    I Am Chained To A Black Woman Send $27 (@BravenakBlog) Tweeted:
    @BernieSanders Can you please stop appropriating from black legends while your fans still call John Lewis a sell-out and you still don’t even fucking hire black staffers?

    Let me tell you what I will do for you. I will make your racist hiring practices a BIG FUCKING DEAL. Cause you SUCK.

    • Ametia says:

      Tell.IT. Three is absolutely NOWHERE for the GOP to hide

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      • majiir says:

        Mitt Romney is running his mouth, but once he’s sworn in he’ll fall in line behind Mitch McConnell and all of the other GOPers in the senate. I hate hypocritical behavior. There should be a pic of Mitt Romney beside the word hypocrite in every dictionary.

  2. Thanks for the music Captain & Tennille. RIP #DarylDragon

    🎵🎤Do that to me one more time
    I can never get enough of a man like you
    Whoa-oh-oh,kiss me like you just did
    Oh,baby,do that to me once again🎵🎤

    Daryl Dragon of ‘Captain and Tennille’ dies at 76

  3. Ametia says:

    Savannah Guthrie stays getting her ass kicked.

  4. Lord have mercy. The cop left her to push the car off the road. This negligent sob.

  5. Ametia says:

    This.right here. That bitch got served food, after he attacked a female employee.

    Remember Dylan Roof? The PoPo drove his rotten murdering ass to Burger King and fed him.

    This is what these sociopaths do. They are violent, even murderous, and after they blood let, they have to EAT.

    • majiir says:

      I keep trying to spread the word to the racists that some black people will lose it when/if they put their hands on them or call the cops on them for no reason. Some of them seem to be having a hard time learning that some of us will fight back.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Hell muthaphuckin’ NO!
    My mother told me years ago, if she had a son and he was a professional athlete, she would want him in baseball.
    Outside of catcher, least wear and tear on the body..
    Longest AVERAGE careers..
    And, the mediocre can make bank for longer…

  7. rikyrah says:

    Yes Lawd 👏👏🤗🤗

    Mr. Weeks ✊🏽 (@MrDane1982) Tweeted:
    In less than 12 hours, Nancy Pelosi will be the most powerful woman in America.

    Are you ready?

  8. Trump on tv talking stupid ass ignorant nonsense. I can’t take this in 2019. Come on @NancyPelosi @Democrats. Make this hellish nightmare end.

  9. Please get this incompetent idiot off the tv pretending he knows what he’s doing in Syria. The man is an embarrassment to this country. WTF America?

    • Ametia says:

      Those men are ALL COWARDS. We should take self-defense classes, with women as the trainers. That lady beat the crap out of that attacker.

      He would not have been this awake, if he pulled that shit on me. They would have to scrape his ass off the floor and take him out on a stretcher.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Ex-fed prosecutor Dan Goldman said he’s beginning to believe conspiracy with Russian interference is not the most serious crime Mueller is investigating.

    “There may have been a much larger conspiracy to provide sanctions relief to Russia” for assistance.

    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 2, 2019

  11. rikyrah says:



    Pelosi’s daughter: My mom will “cut your head off and you won’t even know you’re bleeding”

    — The Hill (@thehill) January 2, 2019

    • Liza says:

      Shocking isn’t it? An inept criminal buffoon is “elected” and he turns out to be the worst president we’ve ever had. The chances he would have been a good president aren’t even in the statistical margin of error. The chances were zero.

  12. Ametia says:

    Word of the Day : January 2, 2019

    Campestral: adjective kam-PESS-trul

    Definition: of or relating to fields or open country : rural

  13. rikyrah says:

    The replies 🤗🤗😂😂

    When I say NFTG 👏👏👏

    • Ametia says:

      God rest Richard Overton’s soul.

      What a life. I hope his family has chronicled his stories. There’s a whole lot of wisdom and history in Mr. Overton’s life.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Anyone watch Married at First Sight?

    They have two Black couples this season.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Koonye and Kim are expecting baby #4 via surrogate…

    Bless their hearts.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

    Vincent Cassel, 52, and new wife Tina Kunakey, 21, CONFIRM they’re expecting their first child together as the actor cradles her baby bump in sweet clip

    Vincent Cassel and his new wife Tina Kunakey have confirmed they’re expecting their first child together in a sweet Instagram clip on Tuesday, just four months after their wedding.

    The Black Swan actor, 52, beamed with delight as he cradled the 21-year-old model’s blossoming baby bump during their scenic trip in Bahia.

  17. rikyrah says:


    Ava DuVernay (@ava) Tweeted:
    The mother of #JazmineBarnes on the fatal shooting of her 7-year old daughter. Killer pulled up to the family in his red truck and fired shots directly into their car. Jazmine died at the scene. Dec 30. Houston. Murderer is a white male, 40s and is still at large. #SayHerName

  18. rikyrah says:

    Remy Carreiro (@Remy_Anne) Tweeted:
    Every time Mitt Romney trends I feel like I’m morally obligated to share this video of him ironing his clothes while they are still on his body

  19. rikyrah says:

    Skeptical speaks the ABSOLUTE TRUTH

    skeptical brotha 🌈 (@skepticalbrotha) Tweeted:
    y’all are missing the point of Romney’s op-ed. he believes that he’s the better standard-bearer for plutocracy and racist indifference because he isn’t a mobbed-up criminal, ignorant buffoon and pathological liar. his argument is about style rather than substance.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

  21. vitaminlover says:

    Interesting story. I have a customer who is black and her son is a terrific swimmer. She and her husband did everything they could to keep him on track but he is a chucklehead. he went down a bad path. He was so good he could have been an Olympian. They are still sad about his dumb choices.

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