Miami Herald | EDITORIAL

Things finally go swimmingly

 

OUR OPINION: Pool in northwest Hallandale Beach will be a recreational boon

HeraldEd@MiamiHerald.com

As is often the case in many historically black urban neighborhoods, gains are achieved on someone else’s timetable, if at all. The words “promise” and “unfulfilled” and “still waiting” too often seem inextricably linked to “Liberty City” and “Overtown,” for instance.

But the front page of the Miami Herald’s Aug. 12 edition bore the good-news headline Promise fulfilled. What followed was a story of residents’ perseverance, their desire to honor the past while crafting a new future in northwest Hallandale Beach. The city has broken ground for a swimming pool, 22 years after another once-popular, but deteriorating pool was shut down. By that time, 1991, the laws of segregation had fallen. African-American residents who were kept from using public pools in other parts of what was then Hallandale now could use them.

Older residents remember the pool parties, competitions, the fun to be had at their pool. They also recall the friends who never grew up with them. They were the siblings or classmates who lost their lives because they didn’t know how to swim. The area, far less developed at the time, was pock-marked with huge holes, deep enough to fill up with rainwater, deep enough in which to drown.

That’s how the pool came to be in the first place. O.B. Johnson, who oversaw three parks in the city’s black community in the 1950s, pushed, pushed, pushed the city build a pool, then ensured that kids learned to swim. They became lifeguards at the pool — and award-winners. In 1959, the Hallandale Vikings Swim Team was formed and competed against other black teams statewide. The Vikings’ relay team brought home the state championship for five years straight.

Fast forward, to next year’s grand opening of the pool. It will open in a drastically changed social landscape. But some things remain the same: Too many urban kids don’t know how to swim in this water-surrounded region — the pool can help fix that. There remains, too, the desire to have fun right down the street. There again, the pool will provide it — and, perhaps, float the ambitions of future champions.

Read more Editorials stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
Annette Taddeo-Goldstein, Charlie Crist’s running mate, signs a petition in Clearwater to let undocumented immigrants get driver’s licenses.

    Miami Herald | EDITORIAL

    The drive for common sense

    OUR OPINION: Grant undocumented immigrants driver’s licenses

  • Miami Herald | EDITORIAL

    Filling the bench

    OUR OPINION: The selection of judges a problem in the Florida gubernatorial race

  • Miami Herald | EDITORIAL

    Black eye for the region

    OUR OPINION: Venezuela does not deserve support for Security Council seat

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category