By Tony Maglio
June 29, 2020
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback to narrate and executive produce six-episode Netflix show written by Michael Starrbury.
Ava DuVernay is standing up and saluting Colin Kaepernick with a Netflix scripted series titled “Colin in Black & White.” The six-episode limited series, which will focus on the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s high school years, will be narrated and executive produced by Kaepernick.
“Colin in Black & White” follows Kaepernick’s early life as a Black child growing up with a white adopted family. It will chronicle Kaepernick’s football journey during the same years he spent defining his identity, according to Netflix.
Michael Starrbury is showrunner. DuVernay and Starrbury worked together on “When They See Us.”
The series was conceived in 2019 by Kaepernick and Duvernay, and Starrbury completed writing last month, Netflix pointed out in its press release. That suggests that the concept and scripts both wrapped when George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Floyd’s death sparked countrywide Black Lives Matter protests.
In 2016, Kaepernick began kneeling during the playing of the national anthem before NFL games. He said it was in protest to racial injustice in America.
That was Kaepernick’s final season in the league.
“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,” executive producer DuVernay said in a statement on Monday. “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.”
“Too often we see race and Black stories portrayed through a white lens,” Kaepernick said. “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.”
“We’re proud to bring Colin’s experience and his creative vision to life as he joins Ava to share his powerful story and message with all our members around the world,” added Cindy Holland, vice president of original content at Netflix. “It is an unparalleled union of two strong and defining voices coming together to tell the story about what it’s like to be Black in America.”
Starrbury is repped by CAA, Circle of Confusion, and attorney Rob Szymanski.