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"Colin in Black & White" Depicts Kaepernick's Journey to Seeing The World in Full Color

At this point, everyone knows Colin Kaepernick as the athlete who took a knee during the national anthem at his football game as a sign of peaceful protest against police violence and racial protest. His fans and supporters have labeled him an activist, while critics have said he disrespected the flag and is unpatriotic. But where did the former NFL quarterback get the impulse to stand up for the voiceless and hold his fellow Americans accountable for the injustices?

In Colin in Black & White, we get a sense of the beginning of Kaepernick's drive and passion. The Netflix series follows the activist as he navigates his high school years as a biracial student and multi-talented athlete. The series was in the works after Colin connected with Ava Duvernay at a Time 100 event and then Colin followed up with her about wanting to tell his story. Colin could have chosen to tell a story about a rising quarterback and the choices he made or specifically about the start of him protesting but wanted to start at the beginning.

The six-part series is narrated by Kapernick himself and provides you with historical facts about racism in America. Each 30-minute episode gives you a glimpse of what it was like being a student-athlete as well as what the family dynamic was for the Kapernick’s. The series also shows that racism in sports runs deep and can have damaging effects on these young athletes.

Colin in Black & White is a masterpiece that shows the imperfect world we live in from the eyes of one of our young civil rights activists. Here are three important things we learned about Colin Kaepernick’s life after watching the series.

Colin Kaepernick is a True Athlete

There are people who play a sport and then there’s an ATHLETE. Colin is an all-star quarterback who took his former team, the San Francisco 49ers, to the Super Bowl for the 2013 season. But before he went to the University of Nevada to play football, he had multiple offers to play baseball. He was a great baseball player and some thought he was a better baseball player than football. A baseball wasn’t the only sport Colin could have played, he also played basketball in high school.

Colin’s Parents Didn’t See Color

Colin’s parents were white and adopted him after having two kids. They lived in a predominantly white neighborhood in Turlock, California. What his parents couldn’t seem to grasp was the fact that Colin was Black and his experiences in life were not and would not be the same as theirs. It was apparent by situations Colin experienced while in the presence of his parents. They chose not to acknowledge the blatant racism and instead would play off the stereotypes that would leave a lasting memory with Colin. It begs the question, “if his parents didn’t see the racism or chose to ignore it in an attempt to ensure that Colin wouldn’t focus on the negative?”. This series will definitely bring an important conversation to white parents who have Black children.

Sense of Identity

During Colin’s high school years, he was trying to figure out who he was. Outside of the chase to be great at each sport he played, he had an internal struggle of understanding his Blackness. He clearly knew he was Black and was different from his parents but where did he fit in. He shared experiences of other young Black men but what he didn’t have was the past references or parents to explain to him what those microaggressions and racist stereotypes were. By the end of the series, Colin finds his voice and leans into his own beliefs and this will be the beginning of him seeing the world in full color.

Check out Colin in Black & White now streaming on Netflix.

Photo Credit: Netflix


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