Wall of Lockers

Wall of Lockers

This installation presents looping video and audio content, providing glimpses of various aspects of the history of segregated swimming and its modern-day implication through different lenses.


Video documentary, 2015
By Veena Rao

“The Harlem Honeys and Bears are no ordinary swim team. The group, which has been meeting regularly since 1979, practices synchronized water dancing and is only open to seniors. Filmmaker Veena Rao profiles the Honeys and Bears in this charming short documentary, as several members of the group explain why they feel so free in the water. ‘Swimming for me is like a second form of life,’ one says.”


Video clip from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, 1969

Clip courtesy of The Fred Rogers Company
“Fred Rogers is known for the kindness he displayed on his kids’ show, ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,’ which aired from 1968 to 2001. Today, his messages are just as powerful as people across the world protest racial injustice in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody.
“Two scenes in particular—one aired in 1969, and the other in 1993—have stood out to social media users who’ve been sharing them on Twitter and Instagram. Both scenes show Rogers, who died in 2003, and Officer Clemmons, played by Black actor François Clemmons, placing their feet in a wading pool together.
“The first scene aired amid civil unrest over pool segregation policies in the U.S., and many perceive it as Rogers taking a stand against racism. The same year it aired, the Supreme Court ruled that pools could not be segregated by race, according to The New York Times.”


Raw footage, 1964

Courtesy of Florida Memory, State Library & Archives of Florida
This film provides extensive footage of the St. Augustine civil rights demonstrations. It shows “wade-in” demonstrations by Blacks on the beach in St. Augustine, counter-demonstrations by whites, speeches made by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Governor Farris Bryant, and speeches by segregationists such as Reverend Connie Lynch, Richard “Hoss” Manucy, and Klansman J.B. Stoner. It also includes scenes of the highway patrol sent in to assist local law enforcement.


Video of the Scientific Advisory Council

“For more than 100 years, the American Red Cross Centennial Campaign has been helping millions of kids, teens and adults learn how to swim and become lifeguards and instructors, so the water can be a safer place for everyone. The American Red Cross created the first national water safety program in the U.S., and today it’s still the gold standard for aquatics training. All of that training is making a difference. In the last century, we’ve helped to reduce accidental drownings by nearly 90% nationwide.”
Special thanks to Connie Harvey, Director, Aquatic Centennial Initiatives, American Red Cross


Video courtesy of Diversity in Aquatics

“The mission of Diversity In Aquatics is to educate, promote, and support swimming, water safety, and healthy aquatics activities for vulnerable populations. DIA is an organization that believes there can be a change in the proverbial tide, and not accept another preventable loss of the next generation of leaders, scholars, and the future of tomorrow. This is why we celebrate aquatic leaders from all over the world in their efforts to help save lives and promote aquatics in under-resourced communities.”