A new movement across the country is reintroducing Black Americans to swimming, following decades of of segregation and discrimination. My video with Retro Report tells a story of liberation and a reconnection to a rich history of swimming, through the voices of people seeking to change the pervasive myth that Black people don’t swim.

While I am still nervous about going into the deep end, I am encouraged by these swimmers, who allowed us to watch them conquer their fears and anxieties and reclaim connection and joy in the water.

BRANDON ALEXANDER, the producer of the video that accompanies this article, is a photo and video journalist and student at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. This article first appeared in Retro Report’s newsletter. Learn something new from history: Subscribe to our newsletter, and follow us on Twitter @RetroReport.