Kids in a wading pool at Collins Playfield in Seattle during the 1940s.

Kids in a wading pool at Collins Playfield in Seattle during the 1940s.

A recent confrontation between teenagers and law enforcement at a pool party in Texas inflamed the ongoing debate taking place across the country about racial tension and police accountability. But racism and segregation also play an ugly role in the broader history of America’s public and private swimming pools. We put this recent episode in that historic context and consider what it can teach us about the state of social relations in modern America.


  • Jamelle Bouie Staff Writer, Slate
  • Jeff Wiltse Associate Professor of History, University of Montana, and author of "Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America"
  • Brit Bennett Op-Ed Contributor, The New York Times; Contributor, Jezebel; Fiction Writer

Topics + Tags


comments powered by Disqus
Most Recent Shows

The Politics Hour: July 10, 2020

Friday, Jul 10 2020Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld talks about the future of WMATA and what reopening will look like. And D.C. Councilmember Vincent Gray walks us through city budget and gives us an update on building a hospital east of the Anacostia River.

D.C. Police Reform, Past And Present

Wednesday, Jul 08 2020The D.C. Council's emergency police reform bans chokeholds and the use of pepper spray on peaceful protesters. But D.C. Auditor Kathy Patterson says these and other proposed measures are already on the books.