By Annette Quijada
Colin Kaepernick’s coming-of-age docuseries “Colin in Black and White” follows the heart-wrenching experiences growing up as a black teenage boy, which led him to become an activist.
Kaepernick and filmmaker Ava Duvernay, don’t hold anything back as the first five minutes into the show demonstrate how impactful the series will be.
Images of Black athletes are shown being examined by white coaches and team doctors.
He compares being poked and sized up as an athlete to when slaves would be looked at and probed when being sold to white men.
“What’s being established is a power dynamic. Before they put you on the field, teams poke and prod and examine you, searching for any defect that might affect your performance. No boundary is respected. No dignity left intact.” Kaepernick said.
Kaepernick narrates as the audience sees his teenage self navigate growing up with white adoptive parents, his passion for sports, love and culture shock.
During each experience Kaepernick manages to connect them to past activists such as former basketball player Allen Iverson.
Iverson was degraded by the media due to being true to himself and his culture by braiding his hair.
The young Kaepernick is shown also dealing with the same degradation when he decided to get his hair braided.
His own mother brands him a “thug.”
The most important piece of the series is Kaepernick’s desire to embrace his black culture while being surrounded by white culture 24/7.
Whether it be hairstyles, food or music, he wants to soak it all in, but it’s something that neither his coaches, friends nor his parents understand.
Actor Jaden Michael, who plays young Kaepernick, manages to perfectly capture the emotions.
He came to the realization that the world around him sees him differently when he holds onto his black culture.
Today Kaepnernick is known as an ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who was blacklisted for kneeling during the national anthem during the 2016 football season.
Kaepernick now runs a foundation called “Know your Rights,” that help young Black and brown communities elevate themselves through education and self improvement.