If anyone is unsure what Critical Race Theory (CRT) is, a great way to learn is to spend time in an expected place: Colin Kaepernick’s charming and uplifting COLIN IN BLACK AND WHITE. This NFL star used his position to shine a spotlight on race when he took a knee during the national anthem, and started a movement. Because of that he lost his job, was blacklisted from getting another, and become one of Donald Trump’s favorite demons.
In this series, we meet a determined and irresistible young man being raised by white parents. As he matures as an athlete, he and his parents grow in unexpected ways. His experience with race from a very early age is presented in indelible ways.
The adult Kaepernick comments on the action, and he watches scenes play out at times. He combines history – from slave sales to the worlds of sports and business - without belaboring the point. A hotel employee can be charming, but under Kaepernick s gaze, also clearly racist.
As the boy grows to man, we see him learn to navigate the world of love as well as he navigates the world of sports. There are many teaching moments along the way.
The principal cast members – Jaden Michael as Colin, and Nick Offerman and Mary-Louise Parker as his parents – are all terrific. Ava DuVernay the adult Colin are credited as creators. Tony Award winning director Kenny Leon directs. The ensemble is large as one would expect for a sports series that spends much of its time in school. The music choices are informative, and the entire package is extremely watchable.
But the greatest lesson is to listen, learn, and make of your life the hand that you have been dealt. Colin continues to do that, as he moves from athlete to activist to artist. It truly seems like nothing will stand in his way.
The show is on Netflix.