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Colin in Black & White

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What it’s about:

A thought-provoking scripted dramatic series about Colin Kaepernick’s childhood as he stares down racism and classism while rising up into greatness.

Names you might know:

Created by Ava DuVerney and Kaepernick, Colin Black and White stars Mary Louise Parker, Jaden Michael, Amarr M. Wooten, and Nick Offerman.

Why it’s worth your time:

Four years before George Floyd sparked a worldwide movement, Colin Kaepernick staged a one-man protest that risked his career and his life, setting off jersey-burning bonfires and even threats of violence from then-President Trump.

Eighteen months after Floyd’s death, the global protest movement has dissipated, but the issues plaguing Black communities remain. In a society where the news cycle is almost as lightning fast as our attention spans, changing but never fully reflecting the need for justice, there has been a constant: Colin Kaepernick.

In Colin Black & White, we see what shaped the man who transcended the NFL to become an international symbol of courage and defiance.  In his world, activism – not sports – ultimately takes center stage, but it was a struggle.  In the series, we witness how he navigates from naïveté to racial justice warrior to martyr, sacrificing his football career for a Hail Mary pass to end racism.

When you first learn that Kaepernick is doing a series about his life, you might wonder…why now? Is he too young, or too pompous? While clearly a pivotal leader in the movement to liberate Black lives, was he and Netflix taking himself too seriously — or taking advantage of a moment?  Would he address real issues? Let’s not forget that CBS just pulled the plug on The Activist because it was not viewed as having enough integrity to honor the work activists do to shift minds and policy.

But when I attended an early screening of Colin Black and White, I was pleasantly surprised by the level of nuance, vulnerability, and creativity that is imbued in all aspects of the series. Without giving away any spoilers, viewers will witness how the power of a narrative can spark dialogue and change minds about an issue many are either afraid to discuss or too resistant to entertain a new perspective. In Colin’s world, microaggressions – not sports – takes center stage, and we witness him navigate from naïveté to racial justice warrior to martyr, sacrificing his football career for a Hail Mary pass to end racism.

The limited series raises a lot of questions:  What is the role sports can play – not just in the pro leagues, but in youth leagues – to address racism?  What about the role parents play?  When do so many racial issues create Black apathy?  How can we continue to talk about race going forward?

Watch it with:

Watch it whenever and however you can — and talk about it afterward.  Join us for a Watercooler conversation afterward (see below).

Worth noting:

I’ll be hosting a Watercooler Zoom discussion Monday November 1st at 9pm ET / 6pm ET.   Be the first to learn about a new framework I’m introducing called BLEXICON, which helps recognize issues and experiences that have not been fully defined before.  We’ll be discussing topics like when did Colin’s life feel like a BLAGEDY (black tragedy)?  When did Colin seem to shift from being confused to having a BLAGENDA (a black agenda)? And when did he become clear with friends and family what he really needed?

1 thought on “Colin in Black & White”

  1. Sounds like a very fascinating and timely conversation. The time for comprehensive dialogue on race, activism, and the role popular sports plays is very necessary.

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