A UK hip hop artist has produced a documentary controversially named: A Film Called Blacks Can’t Swim in a bid to challenge the stereotypes and encourage more minorities to swim.
The tongue-in-cheek educational independent short film is the brain child of Frank ‘Ed Accura’ Awuah and aims to delve into the myths but at the same time inspire more minorities to take up swimming as an important life skill and sports activity. This film is creating a huge debate and receiving support from the wider swimming fraternity who also recognise the lack of minorities and iconic swimming role models writes Aisha Jade.
The film-maker said: “I was on a boat in Ghana and people were jumping off to swim in the water and at that moment it hit me that I don’t know how to swim. When I got back to UK I began to talk about this to others and I realised that it was an issue with in the black community.”
“My mother never taught me how to swim and it wasn’t seen as a priority. We as black people were told that our bones are more dense which stops us from being able to swim.”
Statistics show that over half of Black British people are unable to swim or aren’t good at the sport. Awuah hopes that this will change with young people and that they will become more open to learning how to swim. “
In 2012 a report by Sporting Equals, presented to the amateur swimming association, looked at the findings from a national survey conducted in partnership with Ethnos Consultancy to ascertain the interest in swimming from black and minority ethnic (BME) communities and the barriers to access. It revealed a third of respondents don’t go swimming because they don’t know how to swim.
Now swimmers like African-America Simone Manuel who won a 2016 Olympic Gold Medal is inspiring a new generation of minority swimmers in America.
Ed added:“My brother, Darren Awuah, who is based in Thornton Heath and features in the film has spoken to people about this. His findings were the same. A lot of minority people couldn’t or didn’t swim and they weren’t concerned about it.
“I have now just started to learn how to swim and have had many swimming institutions reach out to me about the film, they want to help. A movement towards minorities and others for that matter taking up swimming lessons has begun and I hope it continues to do so. Swimming has so many benefits, besides stopping one from drowning, it is excellent for both physical and mental health.”
The film is currently available only for Private Online Viewings.