Monday, July 13, 2009

Marco? Polo?

The whites-only swim is over at the Valley Club in Huntington Valley, PA. After breaking its contract with a summer camp of predominantly black-skinned campers, the Club has changed its mind and invites all swimmers back into the water.

The social history of swimming pools tells a stark and true story of race in America. For those readers born too late to have experienced segregated and desegregated swimming in the 1960's, you can sit on the edge of the pool by reading Jeff Wiltse, Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America, or just the review on Legal History Blog.

Something about swimming together nearly naked in the crystal water of a pool reveals and perhaps proves our common humanity. Everyone into the deep end.