A new scripted series based on Colin Kaepernick’s high school life is on its way to Netflix. The series, from Kaepernick and Oscar-nominated director Ava DuVernay, is titled Colin in Black & White and will trace the former NFL star’s youth as a Black kid adopted into a white family. The six-episode series, narrated and executive produced by Kaepernick, will also explore the foundation of Kaepernick’s budding activism, which would later inspire him to begin kneeling during the national anthem at NFL games in protest of police brutality.
“Too often we see race and Black stories portrayed through a white lens,” Kaepernick said in a press release. “We seek to give new perspective to the differing realities that Black people face. We explore the racial conflicts I faced as an adopted Black man in a white community, during my high school years. It’s an honor to bring these stories to life in collaboration with Ava for the world to see.”
“With his act of protest, Colin Kaepernick ignited a national conversation about race and justice with far-reaching consequences for football, culture, and for him, personally,” said DuVernay. “Colin’s story has much to say about identity, sports, and the enduring spirit of protest and resilience. I couldn’t be happier than to tell this story with the team at Netflix.”
DuVernay’s latest venture with Neflix was the four-episode series When They See Us, based on the harrowing true-crime story of the Exonerated Five. The series was nominated for 16 Emmys, netting a best-actor win for Jharrel Jerome for his portrayal of Korey Wise. Michael Starrbury, who wrote the fourth episode, reunited with DuVernay for Colin in Black & White.
Kaepernick was a high-profile quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, sparking a national debate in 2016 when he began taking a knee before games in protest of police brutality against Black people. His peaceful demonstration, which was willfully and incorrectly misconstrued by some as a protest against the national anthem, essentially froze him out of the league, spurring Kaepernick to file a collusion lawsuit against the NFL. The suit was settled in 2019. Kaepernick has continued to be a vocal activist, founding the nonprofit organization Know Your Rights Camp that seeks to educate Black and brown youth.
Per Netflix, writing on the series wrapped this past May. Like many other streamers and studios, Netflix is still sorting out filming plans in the wake of the pandemic, so it’s unclear when Colin in Black & White might begin production. A release date has not yet been set for the series.