Film release: “A Film Called Blacks Can’t Swim”

26th February, 2019

Written, produced by and starring British rapper Frank ‘Ed Accura’ Awuah, A Film Called Blacks Can’t Swim confronts beliefs and obstacles that can prevent ethnic minorities from learning to swim.

“The response has been awesome,” said Frank: “We’ve already had a huge amount of people (black, white and Asians) start taking lessons as a result of the film.”

In the film, Frank refers to an incident last year on Tanzania’s Lake Victoria. A ferry capsized and more than 200 people drowned: the boat was just 50 metres from the dock.

“Every hour, every day, more than 40 people lose their lives to drowning,” reported a 2014 World Health Organisation global study.  Factors associated with an increased risk of drowning include age (children under five are at greatest risk), lower socioeconomic status and being a member of an ethnic minority.

In the 30-minute film Frank’s character develops a fear of water, exacerbated by news reports of rising water levels and flooding. He recognises swimming as a survival skill, but internalised beliefs prevent him from learning, so he begins wearing a life jacket at all times. 

This narrative interweaves with real-life interviews around attitudes and barriers to swimming within the black community. By the end of the film Frank has begun swimming lessons.

“We have a lot of work to do to achieve our aim of eradicating the stereotypes and dispelling the myths, but as long as we can get people to start addressing their fears then we are on our way,” said Frank.

Find more information on the film here –

Liz Lowe

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