Activist and former NFL player Colin Kaepernick knows what it feels like to straddle two worlds. As a biracial kid who was adopted by a white family, he is all too familiar with the effort one has to make to fit in. However, fitting in isn't always the right answer, especially when it comes to doing the right thing. It was not fitting in that led Colin to where he is today, which is where exactly? What is Colin Kaepernick doing now?
What is Colin Kaepernick doing now?
It has been five years since Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the national anthem at a San Francisco 49ers preseason game. He was the team's quarterback, their leader, and protesting something as complicated as the national anthem was saying something. After the game, Colin told NFL Media, "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color." He went on to say this was "bigger than football."
Even though the NFL doesn't require players to stand for the game, Colin still knew there were potential consequences. "I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed ... If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right," he also told NFL Media. In March of 2017, Colin opted out of his contract, hoping a better situation would come. It did not.
Five years later, he is still not playing professional football, but he did make a biopic about his life with acclaimed filmmaker Ava DuVernay (Selma, 13th). Colin in Black & White is not a highlight reel of his NFL career, but rather focuses solely on his teenage years and what it means to be Black.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Colin said staying with his teenage years was important because "they are pivotal in figuring out who you are, where you fit within society, and ultimately what your trajectory is going to be." It also allowed him to "dive into the complex racial dynamics of my family, my relationships, and society.”
What can we expect from 'Colin in Black & White'?
The series follows young Colin (played by Jaden Michael), as he struggles to get through his senior year of high school, surrounded by racism in the conservative Southern California town where he lives. Series writer Michael Starrbury was never an athelete, but he is a Black man living in America. He told the LA Times that what he related to the most was that "at that age, we always want to be something, but we may end up being something else."
The series will depict moments in Colin's life when he was embracing his Blackness, like the first time he got his hair braided. Michael explained to the LA Times, "This is a culture thing: Here’s a kid who’s discovering this culture, discovering his Blackness, and how do you deal with that?”
For Colin, this series is really about letting marginalized people know they have the power to change things. He explained to the LA Times, “I want them to know we don’t have to accept the status quo, and ultimately, I want them to be their full selves and to stand firmly in their full power.”
Colin in Black & White premieres on Netflix Oct. 29.