Black Swimmers Overcome Racism and Fear, Reclaiming a TraditionBlack children are six times more likely to drown in swimming pools than white children. This disparity reflects a long history of discrimination and restricted access to swimming facilities, which contributed to the false stereotype that Black people don’t swim. But the African American community has a long history of aquatic traditions. Today, new initiatives are working to reintroduce Black Americans to swimming.

Racial Health Disparities Didn’t Start With Covid: The Overlooked History of Polio

The coronavirus pandemic has been twice as deadly for Black Americans, who have lagged behind white people in receiving vaccines. This is not the first time healthcare access revealed a racial disparity. During the polio outbreak in the 1930s, polio among African Americans often went undiagnosed and patients were segregated and unable to obtain adequate care. The top polio treatment center, founded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, admitted only white patients.

Bringing Midwifery Back to Black Mothers

The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among wealthy countries, and Black women are three times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. Today, Black parents are increasingly turning to midwifery to improve the odds for maternal and child health.

IREM OZTURAN, an intern at Retro Report, is a journalism and economics student at Northwestern. This article first appeared in Retro Report’s free weekly newsletter. Subscribe and receive lessons from history in your mailbox. Follow us on Twitter @RetroReport.