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“BLACK SPLASH:  The Amazing History of swimming in black and white.”

Sponsors team up for an unusual presentation to be held at the International Swimming Hall of Fame on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 entitled  “Black Splash: The Amazing History of Swimming in Black and White” at the Museum located at One Hall of Fame Drive in Fort Lauderdale.   Sponsors such as Pollo Tropical, Speedo, Toyota, DHL, Hasty Awards, and other team up for the first time together at the ISHOF museum for this unusual event that begins at 6pm with a cocktail meet and greet where visitors can tour the museum collection.  Promptly at 7pm, the program presented by Bruce Wigo, CEO and Historian of the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) and Sabir Muhammad, 10 x NCAA Champion and American record holder will begin.  The cost is $10 for members, $35 for non members. 

The Museum of Swimming at the International Swimming Hall of Fame and the Old Dillard Museum of Fort Lauderdale will honor African American Swimmers during Black History Month by presenting a live presentation of “BLACK SPLASH:  The Amazing History of swimming in Black and white,” a multi-media presentation using film and photographs to tell the tragic, yet inspiring story of the African Diaspora and swimming, from the chronicles of the first Portuguese explorers and slavers which described coastal Africans as culturally aquatic peoples and excellent swimmers, through the Jim Crow era when African Americans were excluded from America’s beaches and pools, including those in Broward County, to today, when few African American participate in aquatic sports.  It explodes the myth that “Blacks can’t swim,” tells about the rich cultural aquatic heritage of Americans of African descent and explains the historical and cultural reasons why many African Americans today choose not to swim -- and the tragic consequences of that decision -- the fatal unintentional drowning rate for 5-14 year old African Americans is 3.2 times higher than that for whites.

Among the notable African American swimmers featured in this presentation are: Yarrow Mamout, the “greatest swimmer to ever swim in the Patomac River”; Crispus Attucks, the former sailor and swimmer who was first American to die in the Revolutionary War; York, the only African American on the Lewis and Clark Expedition; Paul Cuffee, America’s first great African American Entrepreneur; Tice Davids, the escaped slave whose swimming exploit, yes swimnming exploit, gave the Underground Railroad its name; the amazing swimming ability of boxing legend Peter Jackson; Eugene Williams, the African American youth whose drowning ignited the deadly Chicago race riots of 1919; Civil Rights leader, Ambassador Andrew Young, a member of the Howard University swim team; Nate Clark, the first African American to score in an NCAA Swimming Championship, and; Anthony Nesty, the University of Florida All-American, the first swimmer of African descent to win an Olympic Gold medal and to be inducted into ISHOF as an honor swimmer.

The “Black Splash” exhibit will remain on display in the museum from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. seven days a week.    For more information, call 954-462-6536.

The International Hall of Fame, established in 1965, is a not-for-profit educational organization located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Its mission is to promote the benefits and importance of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, quality of life, and the water safety of all adults and children. It accomplishes this through operation of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, a dynamic shrine dedicated to the history, memory, and recognition of the famous swimmers, divers, water polo players, synchronized swimmers and people involved in life saving activities and education whose lives and accomplishments inspire, educate, and provide role models for people around the world.

About The Old Dillard Museum
First opened on April 27, 1995, The Old Dillard Museum exists to promote the proud heritage centered around the first National African-American Landmark in Broward County. We believe is essential to preserve the building and contents, and to provide enriching exhibitions and educational opportunities to keep Black History alive. 



Greg LouganisEraldo

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