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Parents' Guide to

Colin in Black and White

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Powerful series connects one man's life to oppression.

TV Netflix Drama 2021
Colin in Black and White Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 12+

For Real

Is it a documentary or is it a short story? What I do know is that it shines light on the man and allows the people to see how and why he became the man that he is much bigger than a QB! He is determined to make this USA a better place for All mankind!
age 11+

Entertaining and Informative

My son was curious to know more about Colin Kaepernick, beyond the well-known things like kneeling during the national anthem and being shunned by NFL teams. We’re very glad to have found this mini-series, who better to tell the story than Colin himself! This fascinating portrayal of his youth really shows how he got to where he is today, while raising many important topics regarding race and growing up in America. Highly recommend!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (2 ):

Powerful, emotional, and enormously entertaining, this hybrid documentary and coming-of-age drama takes a look back at the sports figure who ignited a political flashpoint simply by taking a knee. To be sure, Colin in Black and White is unusual, both in its storytelling style and in its visuals, both of which skate back and forth between illustrating significant vignettes in Kaepernick's life and taking a critical look at race in America. Kaepernick himself appears in a black suit against stark visuals, narrating sitcom-style scenes in which a young Kaepernick struggles against the expectations of others, then connecting them with oppression both historical and modern.

In the miniseries' first episode, young Kaepernick struggles to find a hairstyle that works both for his sense of style and the demands of his parents, teachers, coaches, and other authority figures. Adrift in a decidedly non-diverse late-1990s California town with his (loving but also clueless) adoptive White parents, Kaepernick is overjoyed to find a Black-owned barbershop. The scene in which he walks in to find a new world, filled with people with skin like his, hair like his, heroes and ambitions and tastes like his is simply beautiful; talented young actor Jaden Michael lets surprise and relief and gratitude play out over his face. His new braids make him feel confident; he can run faster, shoot higher, get significant looks from attractive female classmates. Of course, that joy doesn't last. His (White) coaches demand that he cut his hair or vacate the team. "It doesn't look professional," says his dad Rick. Why should he have to look professional, Kaepernick asks back, "I'm a kid. I'm 14." No matter. His hair is soon cut, and the pain it causes Kaepernick is palpable. At the time, an older Kaepernick narrates, he didn't have the tools or language to fight back, though he knew it was wrong. But things are different now, and Kaepernick and co-creator Ava DuVernay are making the most of the mouthpiece Netflix has given them.

TV Details

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