Racial, ethnic gaps in children's swimming ability

Cliff Fanning, director of Linwood Recreation Center, is among local African-Americans aware of a potentially life-threatening fact about black children: Many can't swim.

A recent study has given credence to that long-held assumption, which has roots deep in black history.

The study found that nearly 60 percent can't swim -- roughly twice the rate of white children.

About 56 percent of Hispanic children can't swim, according to the survey, which was conducted by the University of Memphis for USA Swimming, the sport's governing body.

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