“Since the day I was born, my passion, my love was in being a quarterback.”Colin Kaepernick
Imagine being told most of your life that you’re not something that you know you are! Imagine being made to feel like a huge part of your identity is an embarrassing inconvenience in desperate need of redemption – living in the tension of trying to just be amid injustice. Sadly many of us don’t need to imagine, we get it! It’s a shared lived experience amongst Black folk throughout the diaspora. The only difference between many of us and Kaepernick is that many of us had a home/community to retreat to, the Biracial former NFL had microaggressions camouflaged as love.
Colin in Black and White is a six-part autobiographical limited Netflix series chronicling the former “controversial” San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s high school years.
“The opportunity was to take the story and kind of scramble it up using different formats, different styles to activate something new.” Ava DuVernay told PBS about her stylistic choice to tell the story.
The 90’s sitcom/documentary-style series was Co-Created, Executive Produced and Directed by Ava DuVernay. Every single episode had me either screaming at my screen, laughing at the comedic ludicrousy otherwise known as audacity, trying to calm my seething anger by telling myself that it’s just a TV show, except it’s not… or shaking my head in hopes of discouraging the tears threatening to escape down my cheeks because I resonated with the pain of him being told his kinky coils were unprofessional and had the potential of keeping him from playing Baseball despite him being the best on the team.
“They want you to cut your hair.” Colin’s dad, played by Nick Offerman announces.
“What?” responds Colin, brilliantly played by Jaden Michael.
Nick Offerman (Dad): “You have to cut your hair if you’re going to stay on the team.
Jaden Michael (Colin): “You’re joking, right?”
“It’s a team rule, Colin.” retorts Mary Louise Parker, who plays Kaepernick’s mom.
Jaden Michael (Colin): “A team rule.”
Nick Offerman (Dad): “It makes sense. Truth be told, you do look unprofessional.”
Jaden Michael (Colin): “Unprofessional? Why am I supposed to look professional? I’m 14. I’m a kid.”
“For me, I played baseball because I was good at it. My passion, my love, was being a quarterback.”Colin Kaepernick
Colin in Black and White demonstrates what it means to be black in a society where whiteness is the standard and norm. The series tackles issues that black and other young people of colour have to deal with when faced with stereotypes, microaggressions, alienation and more. A must-see ode to Blackness – Colin’s love letter to his teenage self and Black culture.