Available on Netflix, the black and white Colin miniseries are both a biography that traces the adolescence of the former American football champion and a political charge.
What is it about ?
A daring mini-series that looks back on Colin Kaepernick’s journey through the obstacles represented by the difference in color, class and culture for a young black boy adopted by a white family.
Colin in black and white, a series created by Ava DuVernay and Colin Kaepernick with Colin Kaepernick, Jaden Michael, Mary-Louise Parker, Nick Offerman …
A fist punch
Colin in black and white is not one of those classic biographies that replay a heroic journey of a young man who became a huge champion. It’s partly an autobiography since Colin Kaepernick is the co-creator of the series with Ava Duvernay. Partly a documentary since they often use archive footage. And it is also the story of a fallen man.
This former quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers could no longer find a team to recruit him to the NFL (the National Football League is the equivalent of League 1 in American football) in 2017 after kneeling during the national anthem at the start of each match in order to protest against racism and police violence.
Having become the target of Donald Trump and his supporters, Colin Kaepernick has become a full-time activist. We understand through this mini-series that his political consciousness was awakened from an early age. Adopted by two white parents, played by Mary-Louise Parker and Nick Offerman, young Colin – played by Jaden Michael – is quickly confronted with racism.
He demonstrates this by taking the posture of the narrator of his own life with a few edifying examples. The first two minutes of the series set the tone as he compares recruiting soccer players to buying slaves. In his display, African-American athletes continue to be treated like cattle and evaluated on their physical abilities in the hopes of making the most money for their wealthy owners.
Then the rest of the episode revolves around the question of her hairstyle. At 14, young Colin dreams of looking like his idol of the time: basketball player Allen Iverson. The young man is undoubtedly recognized for his talent but his hairstyle is controversial. Her hair is braided and in 2000s America it looks bad. He is even called a thug!
This is the kind of remark Colin gets when he too has his hair braided. He is even forced to cut them because it is against the rules of the baseball team to which he belongs. And the examples will follow one another without stopping. Ava DuVernay and Colin Kaepernick show that the rules of the game are wrong from the start for African Americans. Equal opportunities do not prevail for them and discrimination is legion.
The demonstration is edifying and rather unstoppable. It is not sure, however, that the series escapes criticism and is blamed for its whistleblower and uncompromising tone. Colin in black and white does not present itself as a simple series, let alone entertainment. It is rather a treatise on racism in the United States, with material for various tensions.