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Howard University Fighting the Oldest Myth in Swimming (604 hits)

HBCU stands for Historically Black College or University. These colleges were made in the past so that black people could get a proper education despite racist policies like the Jim Crow Laws. Today, they serve as a hub of African American culture, history, and education. There are hundreds in the United States, with Howard being the first ever – founded in 1867. Despite there being so many HBCUs, only one has managed to hold onto a swimming program. While there used to be enough HBCU teams to hold an annual national championship meet, now only one remains.

Instead of being discouraged about being the only HBCU swim team left, the Howard swim team has taken this title and built upon it. Since Coach Nicholas Askew took over in 2014, the team has been able to thrive and not only work to excel in competition but also in the community.

“There is no program like us… Being able to come back and give back to a program that has given me so much is just an amazing feeling,” says Coach Askew, a former Bison himself.


This year at the Burr Gymnasium, 40 swimmers are hopping into the pool and starting their college swimming season just as any other team does. After a month or so of training, they will begin competing against other teams, again, just as any other. However, when this team walks into the opposing team’s pool, there may be a few double-takes and a bit of surprise from people who have never heard of them. Why?

This team is made up of almost completely of black swimmers.

They are the Howard University Bison, and they make up the only HBCU Division 1 team in the country.

Continued: https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/howard_university_fighting_oldest_myth_in_swimming/

By Mark McCluskey, Swimming World Intern
Posted By: Elynor Moss
Friday, October 5th 2018 at 12:53PM
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The information about Howard University being the first HBCU is incorrect. Cheyney University(formerly Cheyney State) was founded in 1837 in Chester/Thornbury Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania. Lincoln University(formerly The Ashmun Institute) was founded in 1854 in Oxford, Chester County, Pennsylvania. The university received it's charter from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in April of the same year, making it the first degree-granting HCBU in the United States.
Monday, October 15th 2018 at 10:43AM
Kevin Lyons
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