Last night (8/11/16), African-American swimmer Simone Manuel made history with her victory in the women’s 100 meter freestyle.
Manuel has become the first black woman to win a gold medal in an individual Olympic swimming event ever, setting an Olympic record time of 52.70. This Friday and Saturday the 20 year-old Sugarland, Texas native will go for more gold and participate in the 4×100-meter medley relay and the 50-meter freestyle. This is huge for America of course, but an even larger win for the African-American community. I hope this will break the stigma of black people not knowing how to swim and encourage those who don’t to learn. Most African-Americans didn’t have excess to clean pools or even just a pool for that matter, a very long time ago because of segregation. From that, swimming wasn’t able to be passed on the generations after. Of course there are plenty of blacks who know how to swim now, but access to proper competitive swimming classes in the inner cities are scarce. With Simone’s victory and the national attention she is about to receive, hopefully now more black children will be inspired to follow in her foot steps. Read some of the heart felt congratulations tweets from fans and celebrities.
— deray mckesson (@deray) August 12, 2016
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) August 12, 2016
— Bret Hedican (@BretHedican) August 12, 2016
— natalie nunn (@missnatalienunn) August 12, 2016
— Mandisa (@mandisaofficial) August 12, 2016
clean swimming pools weren't accessible to any black people two generations ago by law. still not for many for economic reasons
— i am the sun (@MauiMescudi) August 12, 2016
simone manuel will reinscribe the difficult space of pools in black America. she's the future.
— Deaux (@dstfelix) August 12, 2016
this is for all the blacks kids who got kicked out of pools and for all the pools drained b/c black kids touched the water
— profloumoore (@loumoore12) August 12, 2016
One of the translations of the name "Simone" is "heard"#LoudBlackGIrls
— I Will Block Ya Mama (@FeministaJones) August 12, 2016
— LERØÏ⚓️ (@XDlyndon) August 12, 2016
— Hannah Bronfman (@HannahBronfman) August 12, 2016