Hmm. The hair thing sounds like it's related to how much work black people (especially women) are expected to do to keep their hair under control and styled instead of letting it look natural. For those who keep it really short, of course it would be less of an issue. Braids could also help.
Have you ever seen the movie Men Of Honor? based on true story of Carl Brashear, the first African-American to overcome vicious racial barricades imposed by the US Navy in its elite diving program. He was accepted into the program in 1952. It's a really good film.
I agree with one of the people in the article, who commented that 6-year-olds are fearless and love playing in the water. I have a hard time relating to not being able to swim, since I have been able to almost as long as I can remember. There are even quite a few ways to swim without getting your head under water. So I hope more awareness leads to more people learning, and making it a part of Black American culture like it was part of the culture where I grew up.
The hair thing sounds like it's related to how much work black people (especially women) are expected to do to keep their hair under control and styled instead of letting it look natural. Ohhhh, I know. You should've seen the looks I got for walking out in the rain without an umbrella after church. I never carry one... I don't use any products on my hair, and I figure "If it gets wet, it'll get dry." I said that exactly once, and was pulled aside later and told it was improper/unfeeling to say.
I've seen that film, and it is a very good one.