Dive Right In?


Posted on : 2/17/2012 07:00:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , ,

 It is always worth the time to see where we've been so that we can know where we are going.  Read the whole thing.

Black athletes were playing for Clair Bee at Long Island University by 1933, but KU didn’t put a black player on the court until LaVannes Squires joined the team in 1952. McLendon admitted to Katz that skin color wasn’t the only obstacle standing between him and a spot on the Jayhawks—though quick and cerebral, McLendon had been cut from his high school basketball team three times. He was a former lifeguard and an excellent swimmer, though, and he expected to ace the mandatory swimming test required for his degree. But when McLendon showed up at the on-campus pool to work out, he found it half empty. He was told it was drained every Wednesday.

McLendon came back on Thursday, and found the pool empty again. Nobody had told him the pool was segregated, perhaps because no colored student had tried to swim there before. The school’s passive-aggressive trick exposed a weakness he could exploit—a fear of direct confrontation. “You’re going to have a pretty big water bill,” McLendon told the attendant. “Because I’m going swimming every day.”

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