Black Swimming History month: ‘Undercurrents of Power’

Undercurrents of Power: Aquatic Culture in the African Diaspora

Reviewed by Bruce Wigo.

by Professor Kevin Dawson and the University of Pennsylvania Press, is an important contribution to the history of swimming.

Kevin Dawson offers the remarkable untold history of the significance of aquatic culture in the African diaspora. Undercurrents of Power opens up a new and exciting aspect of slaves’ experience, providing a crucially important piece of the history of slave life and labor in the Americas.” —James Sidbury, Rice University

Most of the histories of swimming up to now have focused on the origins of competitive swimming and have ignored the contributions of Africans and other indigenous populations outside of Europe to our sport. While it is true that Europeans can be…

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