“We’re not out of the water yet.”
Six months after the University of Iowa eliminated the women’s swimming and diving program (and in the midst of a Title IX lawsuit against the school), Athletic Director Gary Barta gathered the team to let them know their sport would be returning for the 2021-22 season after all. But what might sound like a happy ending provoked “mixed emotions” among the athletes — six of their teammates had already transferred, and other swimmers and coaches had made plans to leave next fall. In addition, four of them had signed onto the lawsuit against UI, alleging unequal opportunities for women athletes over the years and across sports. Little Village talked with two of the swimmers and plaintiffs who are sticking with the suit, diving into the case against the university and calls for a Hawkeye women’s wrestling or rugby team.
Also in this issue: Art “Superman” Pennington was a star of the Negro Leagues and a Cedar Rapids legend — and may soon be enshrined as a Major Leagues star. UI professor T.J. Dedeaux-Norris debuts a visual LP as their bold, sensual and unabashedly Black persona Meka Jean. Plus: The search for a lost dog in Iowa City, a round-up of some of the best Reuben sandwiches around and the ethics of buying Kum & Go’s gay rights merch.