Amid reports of NFL teams showing interest in signing Colin Kaepernick (yet talking to associates, rather than to Kaepernick and his representatives directly), the quarterback continues taking measures to tell his story and speak out on causes important to him.
As reported by Variety‘s Joe Otterson, Kaepernick is partnering with filmmaker Ava DuVernay (Selma, 13th) to produce a six-episode scripted series about his high school years for Netflix. Currently titled “Colin in Black & White,” the series will follow Kaepernick’s upbringing with a white adopted family, the events that inspired his civil rights activism, and his efforts to become a quarterback who eventually played in the NFL.
Scripts for the series have already been written as the project was pitched and developed last year. According to Deadline’s Dominic Patten, filming is expected to begin in the fall.
This project has been a joy to work on for the last year with @StarrburyMike. I’ve long been fascinated by how folks become who they are. The steps we all take to get to ourselves. When it comes to @Kaepernick7, that story tracks the making of a singular American icon. #imwithkap https://t.co/x5wKf1m4nG
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) June 29, 2020
Michael Starrbury, who previously worked with DuVernay on her Emmy-nominated When They See Us series about the 1990 Central Park Five case, will write and executive produce the six episodes. Kaepernick will narrate the series himself and serve as an executive producer.
“Too often we see race and Black stories portrayed through a white lens,” Kaepernick told the Los Angeles Times. “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.”
Whether or not DuVernay will direct any of the series isn’t yet known. But the filmmaker has found a prosperous home for her work at Netflix.
In addition to the aforementioned When They See Us series, she also made the documentary 13th, which chronicles the history of racial inequality and mass incarceration of Black Americans in the United States, for the streaming platform. Netflix will also carry DuVernay’s upcoming documentary on rapper and activist Nipsey Hustle, who was murdered in 2019.
“Colin’s story has much to say about identity, sports and the enduring spirit of protest and resilience,” said DuVernay to the LA Times. “I couldn’t be happier than to tell this story with the team at Netflix.”
Since being ostracized from the NFL for his kneeling protests during the national anthem, Kaepernick’s media profile continues to grow.
While this Netflix project and his upcoming memoir will be of a more personal nature, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and his publishing company recently partnered with Medium to contribute and consult on content produced for the outlet’s verticals on race issues and prison reform. Kaepernick will also conduct an interview series with athletes, activists, and thought leaders for the site.