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Colin Kaepernick's teenage years subject of new Netflix series helmed by Ava DuVernay

Titled 'Colin in Black & White', the series will focus on the athlete's formative years, which have led to his activism

Colin Kaepernick, right, and Emmy-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay are teaming up on a Netflix miniseries about the teenage roots of the former NFL player’s activism. Neftlix says the limited series, titled 'Colin in Black & White', will examine Kaepernick’s high school years. AP
Colin Kaepernick, right, and Emmy-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay are teaming up on a Netflix miniseries about the teenage roots of the former NFL player’s activism. Neftlix says the limited series, titled 'Colin in Black & White', will examine Kaepernick’s high school years. AP

Colin Kaepernick and Ava DuVernay have teamed up for a new Netflix series that will focus on the teenage years of the former NFL star.

Titled Colin in Black & White, the six-episode scripted drama tells the story of Kaepernick's formative years, looking at the experiences from his adolescent life that shaped him into the activist he is today.

The former NFL quarterback made headlines in 2016 when he decided to kneel during the American national anthem to protest inequality and police brutality in the US. The stand he took soon turned him into a global figure for activists fighting for social justice around the world.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 11, 2016 Colin Kaepernick #7 and Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel in protest during the national anthem prior to playing the Los Angeles Rams in their NFL game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Former NFL star Colin Kaepernick, who launched kneeling protests during US national anthems to protest police brutality and racial injustice, will be the subject of a six-part series, Netflix announced June 29, 2020. - / AFP / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Thearon W. Henderson
Former NFL star Colin Kaepernick, right, in 2016, kneeling during the US national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice. AFP

The series is narrated by Kaepernick, who appears as himself, and was written by Michael Starrbury, who serves as executive producer alongside DuVernay and Kaepernick.

The writing, which started last year and was completed in May, "provides an introspective look at Kaepernick’s early life as a black child growing up with a white adopted family and his journey to becoming a great quarterback while defining his identity," Netflix said in a statement.

"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 Kaepernick, that story tracks the making of a singular American icon," DuVernay tweeted, after the announcement on Monday.

This isn't the first time Starrbury and DuVernay have joined forces. The two worked on the critically acclaimed Netflix series When They See Us, which tells the story of the Central Park 5.

“Too often we see race and black stories portrayed through a white lens,” said Kaepernick. “We seek to give a 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 honour to bring these stories to life in collaboration with Ava for the world to see.”

Updated: June 30, 2020 02:37 PM

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