Jun 29, 2020
Ava DuVernay and Colin Kaepernick developing Netflix series on his high school years
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Netflix has announced Colin in Black & White, a new scripted six-part series created by Colin Kaepernick and Ava DuVernay.
The limited series will be narrated by Kaepernick and centers around his high school years as a Black child adopted into a white family. The project promises “meaningful insight” into the formative experiences that later inspired the athlete to become a social justice activist.
Kaepernick claimed he was blackballed by the NFL because he kneeled during the 2016 season to bring awareness to the issues of racism and police brutality. He filed a grievance in August 2017 for collusion and the case was settled last year.RIVERDALE, GA – NOVEMBER 16: Colin Kaepernick looks on during a private NFL workout held at Charles R Drew high school on November 16, 2019 in Riverdale, Georgia. Due to disagreements between Kaepernick and the NFL the location of the workout was abruptly changed. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
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Emmy nominee Michal Starrbury, who worked on DuVernay’s Netflix miniseries When They See Us about the Central Park Five case is also on board to write the narrative.
“Too often we see race and Black stories portrayed through a white lens,” said Kaepernick who will also be an executive producer.
“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.”
It’s been a pleasure working with @ava, @StarrburyMike, and the entire writing team on this project for over a year now.
I look forward to sharing these moments of my life with all of you! https://t.co/IBYXQb69OH
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) June 29, 2020
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“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,” DuVernay said when announcing the project 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.
In the summer of 2018, it was reported that DuVernay was working on turning Kaepernick’s high school years into a comedic TV series. However, the Netflix press release on Colin in Black & White makes it clear that this show is being billed as a dramatic limited series, and is confirmed to have wrapped up writing sessions in May.
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News Source: thegrio.com
Sir Francis Drake High School protesters demand name change
“For me, when I hear or see the name, I can’t help but associate Drake’s actions with visuals of my ancestors taken from their land, shackled and enslaved,” said Brandon Johnson of Forest Knolls, a 2005 graduate and an organizer of the group.
Johnson, who is Black, said he remembers hearing the “N-word” called out by an opposing team’s fan while playing basketball for the Drake team. At the time, he said, he thought “the joke’s on them, because I know at Drake we stand for something better.
“What I know now is that the larger joke was on me,” he said. “I was getting called the N-word while proudly wearing the name of a slave trader across my chest. That’s why the name matters.”
Johnson was one of about a half-dozen speakers at the event in the San Anselmo school’s parking lot. Students, employees, parents and graduates participated in the rally.
After the speeches, protesters marched, while chanting “change the name,” to the high school’s office. There, they taped a copy of a letter being sent this week to Tamalpais Union High School District officials on the office door.
“Drake High School’s stated commitment to diversity and equity will remain empty words until it takes concrete steps to remove the name of a well known slave trader, murderer, rapist and colonizer from its school and replaces it with a carefully chosen name that shares our collective values,” the letter said.
The Tam Union district, which includes Drake High School, is scheduled to discuss the name change at its board meeting at 6 p.m. July 14. The link to the online meeting agenda will be posted by Friday at the district website, tamdistrict.org.
“I am grateful that our community is engaging in this and other conversations to address racism,” said Tara Taupier, the district superintendent.
Leslie Harlander, the board president, said the focus on race and anti-racism was “important work and it deserves thoughtful examination of all our institutions, including our schools.”
The high school, the second in the district, was named after Drake in 1951. The name change movement is one of several efforts underway to rid the county of symbols honoring Drake, who reputedly landed on the Marin coast in 1579.
A new group, Tam Equity Campaign, is running a petition to change the name of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. In addition, activists want to remove the 30-foot-high explorer statue near the Larkspur Ferry Terminal.
“Drake’s name on our school, like our street, and the statue in Larkspur, are symbols of the continuing legacy of white supremacist ideology in Marin,” the activists’ letter to the Tam district states. “This legacy must be changed not merely by removing his name from our school. The district must finally live up to its long stated commitment to anti-racism by implementing the long discussed plans, which have achieved little despite years of discussion, forums, meetings and workshops.”
Liz Seabury, principal of Drake High School, said Monday that a staff committee had already begun discussions in early June about changing the name. The panelists will be coordinating with the district’s board and the community, she said.
“We appreciate the voice and strength of our staff for taking the lead on this at the end of a challenging year and starting the process with a commitment to anti-racism in our school,” Seabury said. “We understand that any proposed change to the name of a school, especially a school with such deep roots in the community, is an emotional topic for many people.”
Chad Stuart, assistant principal and one of the speakers at Tuesday’s rally, said he supported the name change both as a school staff member and as a 1996 Drake graduate. Stuart said the school has listed the steps it plans to take on its Instagram page.
“There’s a lot of emotions and passions on this,” Stuart said before the rally. “As I educated myself on this, and realized that the name itself is hurtful — especially to people of color — I support the name change as an alumni member as well.”
After pinning the letter at Tuesday’s rally, demonstrators rode in a car caravan along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard through the Hub in San Anselmo. The procession traveled back through downtown San Anselmo and west through downtown Fairfax before circling back to the school.
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“I think we should be honoring significant people who benefit the community in order to show a perspective in history that hasn’t been whitewashed,” Bodine-McCoy, 17, of San Anselmo said at the rally.
Zianah Griffin, who graduated this year, said that changing the name was only the first step. Griffin, 17, of Fairfax identifies as a biracial Asian woman. Both she and Bodine-McCoy were members of the Drake chapter of Students Organized for Anti-Racism, or SOAR.
“The renaming of Sir Francis Drake High School is only a gateway into a much larger web of necessary institutional change,” she said Tuesday. “To the opposers I say, the renaming will end when the real work begins.”