By: Rumnik K Ghuman
Colin in Black & White is a new limited Netflix series recently released in October. This series is following Colin Kaepernick through his journey in high school as he had to face multiple issues as a black child who had white parents. During high school, Colin was a straight-A student who also played football, basketball, and baseball all year round. This 6 episode series attacked multiple issues a black child sees, but it was even harder since his parents didn’t understand how to explain to Colin why he was treated differently or had to work twice as hard to prove himself to the world. 360 Magazine is pleased to write something regarding this series as this is only available for a certain time period and is accessible only in a few states.
To begin with some history why is this series so special to watch. It’s about ex-football player, Colin Kaepernick, who had kneeled in protest to police brutality and racial inequality during the national anthem back in 2016. Since then Kaepernick was not drafted by any team which quickly ended his career. This series truly shows what a black child goes through in a huge population of white superiority. Kaepernick played six seasons for the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL with 13 rushing touchdowns. It’s crazy to even think that a kneel would affect a football player’s entire career, but he wasn’t the only one to do it. The reason why he got so much hate was that he was the first.
Each episode had an individual topic or issue brought up and focused on. Some topics were about appearances, as the braids were a big symbol of being a Thug apparently, which if you looked up what a thug actually means it’s defined as a violent person, especially a criminal. This includes no definition of how a thug looks like. This is the black culture that was given a label to place black people into a box of judgment. The next episode was the introduction of discrimination that made Colin realize he was going to be treated very differently compared to his peers. As a scene of him going out of town to witness how he was being watched as he was the only black person in the hotel for a baseball game. This kept going into how the world viewed black people in general. Colin was always told to take the easy way out, never really challenge himself. He had a great arm in baseball, but something about being rejected for football made him want to do it more than anything. This idea of rejection and always being the second choice came for him since day one from his birth parents. Colin was given up for adoption as a 5-week baby, and for his adoptive parents, he wasn’t the first choice either. Some other topics brought up were the standard of beauty and how black beauty was looked down upon compared to white people. There were certain acts that were very questionable of Colin’s parents that you can see in the show. Some more topics were of acceptance and perseverance to be the greatest.
One aspect that really stood apart from this series was that it was not just a biopic. It was narrated by Colin Kaepernick and he would compare some situations that happened to him to the history of black people or even black athletics. One thing brought up was the idea of being perfect as black people. This goes back to slavery when slaves were bought based on how perfect they were body-wise to achieve good work and worth in a buyer’s eye. Colin compared this to how black athletics were examed so deeply to make sure they are in good shape and perfect. Multiple other athletics came up and what they had to go through in order to bring to light that this isn’t the first time something had happened. Allen Iverson, a Basketball player for the NBA, was attacked for his braids and the way he dressed. Romare Bearden, a baseball player for the National League, was told to play like a white man and had to fit in. Ava DuVernay, Director of Colin in Black & White, brought a big aspect of history for children to understand what racism is about. This show was so simple and lighthearted that all kids of any age will understand and learn something much better than what they are taught in schools.
This show has gotten a mixed reaction as most supporters of Kaepernick’s have been on his side from the moment he had kneeled. This series does attack multiple parts of the government and certain names and photos have been shown of the previous United States President, Donald Trump. It was interesting to hear that this was a limited series and only available to watch in a certain number of states. In the history of streaming services, no movie or series has been limited for no reason. This is a very controversial topic as it includes Colin Kaepernick’s entire story and he had received a huge amount of hate. Many still think that the racists in America got a platform to become more vocal of their opinion was because of President Donald Trump which led to the end of Kaepernick’s football career. The amount of risk that went into this series is huge, but the love and support of the audience had this show rated in the top 10 on Netflix.
To end off this article, some phrases that Colin Kaepernick used to express what this world uses against black people were for example, “groomed in a system……always the second choice…..intensional built this way…..a white man’s stamp of approval.” You can see how much of government, history, and judgment goes into the way people don’t change their perspective about black people. After being an athlete all his life, Colin Kaepernick finally found what he was truly born for to be a civil rights activist.