Written in Black and White

New Limited Netflix series shows journey of famous former quarterback

Written in Black and White

Jordan Maciel, Co-Editor in Chief


The Netflix limited series “Colin in Black and White” follows Colin Kaepernick as he chases his dream of playing football despite the challenges he’s met with. This series depicts a nonviolent racial treatment of a black American teen living in the white suburbs of Turlock, California.

Kaepernick is a former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers and a civil rights activist. Kaepernick’s civil rights work reached a pinnacle in 2016 when he unintentionally sparked one of the largest professional sports controversies in history. During the 49ers’ final preseason game in 2016, Kaepernick opted to kneel instead of sitting during the national anthem. This seemingly insignificant action inspired a massive movement among athletes, including professional and minor league players. Kaepernick’s NFL career was cut short as a result of his stance. Although this is the first time Kaepernick’s protests have gained widespread attention, his perspectives began during his senior year in high school.

The title of the show alludes to how people perceive the world in one way or another. Perceptions are “in black or white.” The series includes six half-hour episodes that alternate between being insightful and then completely self-absorbed, between an artistic perspective and mundane lifestyles. Many critics were fascinated, but also confused, as to who he was addressing with this series. Was it meant to be for all Americans, black and white, NFL owners, or was it actually self-reflection and modifications for Colin Kaepernick’s future and past self? This was hinted at the end of the last episode. Overall, it highlights the bluntness of racism in America.

Colin Kaepernick, the show’s star subject, narrates the show. Every episode features Kaepernick speaking to the audience on the typical toxic power dynamics of today’s world. His statements are anything but subtle. 

In the first episode, Kaepernick discusses the power struggle in athletics as well as in the rest of the world. His discussion includes the dehumanization of African Americans athletes experiences in their programs in comparison to enslaved men on the auction block. He isn’t subtle, and he isn’t attempting to be when discussing such a serious topic. Kaepernick intends to educate the audience about how African Americans are treated unfairly. He’s here to teach his audience, and class is in session.

Continuing the focus of his high school career, being a multi-talented athlete and his identity as a young biracial man being raised by two white adoptive parents. The series goes above and beyond in attempting to better communicate his challenges to his viewers.

Throughout the series, Colin battles to establish his worth, demonstrating that he is capable of being more than what others expect of him. Kaepernick’s internal issues and personal progress as an individual and player are heavily featured in the series.

Kaepernick has an undeniable drive for football, it is most definitely inspiring. His passion is something that not everyone is capable of possessing. Though he is constantly told he will not live up to the expectations he has set for himself, he pushes through the critics of his community.

 Kaepernick was an excellent high school quarterback, but an even better baseball player. Kaepernick was highly sought after by many colleges and even had a few major league teams pining for his arm. While his eventual disinterest in pursuing baseball despite his incredible talents has been discussed extensively, the other side of the coin is his all-consuming love of football.

Kaepernick was continually criticized for his decisions, with many telling him he gave up the opportunity of his lifetime. Though football might not have been his best sport, he continued to perfect his craft throughout the off-seasons. After endless declines from colleges, many said to give up, but that’s not in Kaepernick’s DNA. He pushes even harder and eventually goes to every practice and showcase in a 50-mile radius of his home town. Some do not seem as promising as the others.

 The show focuses on Colin’s fortitude and determination to prove his naysayers wrong. which speaks to how determined he really is despite the significant external pressure, but does not really speak. 

After months of silence from colleges, one that he didn’t seem to expect called to give him the wonderful opportunity of playing for their school. It is here and now that he sees all of his hard work in perspective and realizes that everything he did was well worth it. When leaving for college at the end of the last episode, the present Kaepernick writes a letter to his younger self. Claiming that this series was entirely for himself and not for the general public

The most fascinating episodes are those that exhibit the best ability to place Kaepernick’s tale in a larger historical perspective; the wilder historical and sociological backgrounds are the weakest linkages. The plot focuses on one of Kaepernick’s most distinctive aspects of his athletic career.

Still, while the execution is mixed, the aims of the series are so clear and admirable that they go a long way. Expect to be startled if you are not fond of this blunt genre topic, but for those prepared and willing to listen to his unpopular beliefs, this series is an above-average representation of his activism. 

Colin in Black and White is likely to raise a few eyebrows. It’s one of those controversial shows that will divide families and friends. This biographical drama, on the other hand, clearly illustrates the differences that prevailed in both worlds at the time of the show and now.