‘Black Girls Do Swim’: North Carolina A&T Swim Team Leaves Behind Unique Legacy
It’s a sunny winter afternoon, and the Ellis F Corbett Sports Center’s natatorium is filled with sound. The lights in the ceiling vibrate in their sockets, amplifying a buzz that threatens to overwhelm any conversation. Laughter pierces the silence between a swim coach’s orders. The women of the North Carolina A&T’s swim team are having fun.
This isn’t your average swim practice. This is the team’s final practice – the last chance to display a little of that Aggie Pride and tenacity. It’s also the last chance to practice what they will show spectators at this weekend’s Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association championships. Coach Shawn Hendrix stares at the clipboard with her left hand and clutches the microphone in her right. Her nails are painted Aggie blue and gold, the school’s colors. “One more set,” she tells one athlete. “Try that turnaround again,” she tells another. She has three workouts going on at once to maximize time.