‘Blacks Can’t Swim’ is a new film by Ed Accura, which aims to tackle the disparity in the UK black community of minorities being able to swim.
One reason given for black people being unable to swim included heavy bone density. This however has been shown to be a myth, with 2016 Olympic Gold Medallist, Simone Manuel from the USA, and Jamaican world champion swimmer Alia Atkinson just two examples of why this not the case. However, question still remains – what is the reason more black people don’t take up swimming, and have it as an essential life skill?
Are young minority children in deprived areas missing out on learning to swim as a sport and life skill, because swimming lessons have been cut from their school curriculum?
With the support of organisations such as Swimming Nature, the new film, ‘Blacks Can’t Swim’ aims to create debate, and answer these questions.
Below are the the UK 2015 figures from the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA). They show that ethnic minorities in Britain are three times less likely than white people to know how to swim:
Ed Accura (Frank Awuah) is a Black British man who, after watching an upsetting TV news report warning of impending bad weather and flooding, develops an acute phobia with water. His anxiety is essentially with not being able to swim and an irrational fear of drowning which pushes him into buying a life jacket which he decides to wear everywhere he goes.
Ed is torn between his friends who try and encourage him to learn how to swim and society who dramatically dampens his confidence with stereotypes on Black people and their supposed inability to swim. The film combines drama with real-life interview footage of various members of the black community voicing their thoughts on the subject ‘Blacks Can’t Swim’.
Check out the website where you can register to watch ‘Blacks Can’t Swim’ online, after the premiere on 1 February.
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