Though often seen as socially conservative, the Catholic church has a strong progressive strain that can be traced back 50 years to Latin America's liberation struggles.
Municipal swimming pools flourished in the 20th century. But too often, their success was based on the exclusion of African Americans.
Catholic Church records document the earliest black history in the US, going back to the 1590s. These records tell the histories of Africans, free and enslaved, who were part of Spanish expeditions.