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"We Definitely Can Do It, Even If It Wasn't Designed For Us": The Black Women Taking Up Space In Swimming, Skiing & Ballet

Despite swallowing a fair bit of pool water, I did survive my first swimming lesson in school, but I was put off swimming for a long time, after several boys later on that day laughed at the “state” of my hair. 

Personally, it wasn’t just hair that kept me away from the water. Like many, I grew up believing the notion that black people just don’t swim and very aware of the theory that black people can’t swim. 

Seren Jones, a swimmer, BBC journalist and co-founder of The Black Swimming Association wants to set the record straight.

“Look back at history, look at coastal countries in Western Africa, or the Caribbean Islands. We were known to be fishermen, to swim and the water was a huge part of our lifestyle. To say we’ve never swam is not true, it’s just a part of history that has been dismissed, but it’s been in our lives and in our blood for a very long time.”