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Contested Waters - A Social History of Swimming in America - Zoom Talk

May 30, 2021

Contested Waters - A Social History of Swimming in America
Date: Sunday, June 6th, 2021
Time: 6pm
Join Human Access ProjectPortland Harbor Community Advisory Group and other partners for a fascinating, under-the-surface view of racism, sexism, and social upheaval in America.
It’s a discussion of the history of public swimming in the US that started in rivers and developed into public swimming pools.
If you were ever curious why “Black people don’t swim” many answers are provided that range from laws prohibiting swimming, intimidation and lack of access. Swimming was a flashpoint of the civil rights movement. Hope you can join!
Author and history professor Jeff Wiltse will read from his book, “Contested Waters - A Social History of Swimming Pools in America”, a deep dive into the history of public swimming and how it has impacted racial, gender, and social issues for over a century.
Michael Pouncil of Portland Harbor Community Advisory Group will discuss his experiences growing up in Kansas City as a Black youth and the barriers he faced to access swimming.
Wiltse’s book includes many old photos he unearthed. They show how views on public swimming have changed over the years and how attitudes and laws have evolved regarding men and women, of all races, gathering together in municipal pools (in steadily shrinking swimwear). It gives an under-the-surface account of how racism has spread throughout our history.
Port of Portland will provide 30 free books (upon request) for people who attend!
A freestyle Q&A session will follow. Jump in!
Zoom Link:
Contested Waters