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Black History Invitational Swim Meet

BHISM 20177

This unique event was co-founded in 1987 by the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and the United Black Fund, Inc. (UBF) in honor of Black History Month. These two organizations have worked together every year since to produce the first swim meet in the nation to celebrate this important month that highlights the contributions of African Americans to US society. 

The invitational was founded with the goals of providing urban youth nationwide with a positive outlet for expression, exposure to strong competition, a forum to meet positive role models, and the opportunity to visit the nation's capital. Since the very first year, DPR and UBF are proud that the Black History Invitational Swim Meet has fulfilled these goals and has grown from a small, local competition to one now hailed by USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport of swimming, as the "premier minority swim competition in the United States and in the World."  During the three-day Invitational, youth athletes ranging in age from 5 – 18 will compete in standard swim events, such as the individual medley, freestyle, butterfly, relays, and back and breast strokes; attracting nearly 800 minority competitors, ages 5–18, from swim teams in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Detroit, Cleveland, New York and other metropolitan areas in the United States.

Get the detailed rundown of the 2024 Black History Invitational Swim Meet here.

Past Black History Invitational Swim Meet Honorees

Beginning in 1989, the Black History Invitational Swim Meet Steering Committee has chosen courageous and notable African Americans in history or in the field of swimming whose contributions are known throughout the world to be recognized during the weekend's events.

Calendar Year Annual Year Honorees
2017 31st Natalie Hinds
2016 30th Coach Tommy Jackson, Coach Gary Peterson and Coach Lee Pitts
2015 29th Justin Lynch
2014 28th Coach Russell “Kim” Williams of the Baltimore City Swim Club (BCSC)
2013 27th John Tatum
2012 26th Rodger McCoy
2011 25th Michael Wright and Alana Dillette
2010 24th Maritza Correia, Byron Davis, Sabir Muhammed and David Goggins
2009 23rd Cullen Jones
2008 22nd Bradford A. Tatum
2007 21st Jim Ellis and Frederick Evans II
2006 20th 20th Annual Black History Invitational Swim Meet Committee
2005 19th Chuck Hinton, Fred Lee Valentine, and Mamie
2004 18th Sharon Pratt
2003 17th Dan Knise and Clarence Bishop
2002 16th Dr. William H. Rumsey
2001 15th Dr. Calvin Rolark
2000 14th Eleanor Holmes Norton
1999 13th Walter Washington
1998 12th Dr. Dorothy Height
1997 11th Booker T. Washington
1996 10th Harriet Tubman
1995 9th George Washington Carver
1994 8th Mary McCleod Bethune
1993 7th Benjamin Banneker
1992 6th Sojourner Truth
1991 5th Frederick Douglass
1990 4th Martin Luther King Jr.
1989 * 3rd Martin Luther King Jr.