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The Colin Kaepernick Netflix dramedy reveals the Central Valley racism experience as a Black youth

Despite the misleading mainstream headlines, Kaepernick's youth encompasses racially biased incidents, structural racism and an introduction to white privilege at a very young age



In this episode of News Too Real: An in-depth review of newly released, 6-part, dramedy series to Netflix, "Colin in Black and White ", producer host Julia Dudley Najieb gives specific details of Colin Kaepernick's upbringing in the Central Valley city of Turlock, CA, located in Stanislaus County relative to her own experiences growing up in the Almaden Valley.

She reiterates the bouts of racism, racial bias and white privilege he had to navigate through as a bi-racial--although he embraced Blackness-- young person raised by two White parents; as a talented tri-athlete in basketball, baseball, and football, Kaepernick at a young age had to navigate through a Black-culture identity crisis followed by racially biased incidents, while trying to have a comprehension of what was happening to him simultaneously.


Turlock is a city in Stanislaus County, California, United States. Its estimated 2019 population of 73,631 made it the second-largest city in Stanislaus County after Modesto.

The racial makeup of Turlock was 47,864 (69.8%) White, 1,160 (1.7%) African American, 601 (0.9%) Native American, 3,865 (5.6%) Asian, 313 (0.5%) Pacific Islander, 11,328 (16.5%) from other races, and 3,418 (5.0%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 24,957 persons (36.4%).


Dudley Najieb also details the strong directorial leadership of the dramedy series produced by former NLF player, Kaepernick and award-winning, writer, director and producer, Ava Duvernay that has been overshadowed by mainstream media headlines focused on the first 2 min. of the first show in the series, which dramatizes the NFL comparison to slavery, narrated by Kaerpernick.


As the dramedy series has more insightful topics related to the young, resilient Kaepernick growing up in a predominately white environment as the only "Black" kid on the block, Dudley Najieb also reviews the news headlines which talk about the direct sabotage and conspiracy that white journalists, or white people had toward Kaepernick to permanently destroy his NFL career for kneeling quietly during the national anthem played before games, as his way of politically taking a stance against police brutality and the injustices against Black and Brown people throughout the nation.




About the Executive Producers:


Colin Rand Kaepernick, 33, is an American civil rights activist and former football quarterback. He played six seasons for the San Francisco 49ers in the National Football League (NFL). In 2016, he knelt during the national anthem at the start of NFL games in protest of police brutality and racial inequality in the United States.


When he was four years old, his family moved to California. As a high school student, at John H. Pitman High School in Turlock, California, Kaepernick played football, basketball and baseball and was nominated for all-state selection in all three sports his senior year. He also had a 4.0 GPA.


Kaepernick played college football for the Nevada Wolf Pack, where he was named the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Offensive Player of the Year twice and became the only player in NCAA Division I history to amass 10,000 passing yards and 4,000 rushing yards in a career. After graduating, he was selected by the 49ers in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft.


Kaepernick began his professional football career as a backup quarterback to Alex Smith, and became the 49ers' starter in the middle of the 2012 season after Smith suffered a concussion. He then remained the team's starting quarterback for the rest of the season, leading the team to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1994. During the 2013 season, his first full season as a starter, Kaepernick helped the 49ers reach the NFC Championship Game. Over the next three seasons, Kaepernick lost and won back his starting job, with the 49ers missing the playoffs for three years consecutively.


In the 49ers' third preseason game in 2016, Kaepernick sat during the playing of the U.S. national anthem prior to the game, rather than stand as is customary, as a protest against racial injustice, police brutality and systematic oppression in the country.


The following week, and throughout the regular season, Kaepernick kneeled during the anthem. The protests received highly polarized reactions, with some praising him and his stand against racism and others denouncing the protests. The actions resulted in a wider protest movement, which intensified in September 2017 after President Donald Trump said that NFL owners should "fire" players who protest during the national anthem. Kaepernick became a free agent after the season and remained unsigned, which numerous analysts and observers have attributed to political reasons.


In November 2017, he filed a grievance against the NFL and its owners, accusing them of colluding to keep him out of the league. Kaepernick withdrew the grievance in February 2019 after reaching a confidential settlement with the NFL. His protests received renewed attention in 2020 amid the George Floyd protests against police brutality and racism, but he remains unsigned by any professional football team.



Ava DuVernay is a writer, producer, director and distributor of independent film.

Winner of the Emmy, BAFTA and Peabody Awards, Academy award nominee Ava DuVernay is a writer, director, producer and film distributor. Her directorial work includes the historical drama SELMA, the criminal justice documentary 13TH and Disney’s A WRINKLE IN TIME, which made her the highest grossing black woman director in American box office history.


Based on the infamous case of The Central Park Five, her project, entitled, WHEN THEY SEE US, was released worldwide on Netflix in May 2019. Currently, she is overseeing production on her critically-acclaimed TV series QUEEN SUGAR, her new CBS limited series THE RED LINE and her OWN series CHERISH THE DAY.


Winner of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival's Best Director Prize for her micro-budget film MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, DuVernay amplifies the work of people of color and women of all kinds through her non-profit film collective ARRAY, named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies.


DuVernay sits on the advisory board of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and chairs the Prada Diversity Council. She is based in Los Angeles, California.


About the Directors:

Sheldon Candis, a Baltimore native, is a writer-director and graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Candis has been directing since 2002. He has written, produced, and directed short films, television series, and documentaries across entertainment mediums. He is especially known for LUV (2012), Sonny Listening (2002) and Young Cesar (2007.)


Angel Kristi Williams is an award-winning writer & director from West Baltimore, Maryland. Her work has screened in art galleries, numerous festivals around the world and garnered the attention of Participant Media, while still in graduate film school at Columbia College Chicago. She splits her time between Baltimore and Los Angeles and teaches in the MFA film program at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). She holds an MFA in directing from Columbia College Chicago. She is also working on a series for the OWN network.


Robert Townsend is best known for directing the films Hollywood Shuffle (1987), Eddie Murphy Raw (1987), The Meteor Man (1993), The Five Heartbeats (1991) and various other films and stand-up specials. He is especially known for his eponymous self-titled character, Robert Peterson as the starring role as on The WB sitcom The Parent 'Hood (1995–1999), a series which he created and of which directed select episodes.


Townsend is also known for his role as Donald "Duck" Matthews in his 1991 film The Five Heartbeats. He later wrote, directed and produced Making The Five Heartbeats (2018), a documentary film about the production process and behind the scenes insight into creating the film. Townsend is also known for his production company Townsend Entertainment which has produced films Playin' for Love, In the Hive and more.


During the 1980s and early–1990s, Townsend gained national exposure through his stand-up comedy routines and appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.


Townsend has worked with talent including Halle Berry, Morgan Freeman, Chris Tucker, Beyoncé, Denzel Washington and many more.


Kenny Leon is an American director, producer, actor, and author, notable for his work on Broadway, on television, and in regional theater. In 2014, he won the Tony Award for Best Director of a Play for A Raisin in the Sun. He gained prominence in 1990, when he became one of the few African Americans to head a notable nonprofit theater company as the artistic director of Atlanta's Alliance Theatre Company. In January 2012, he completed a Lifetime Original Television remake of Steel Magnolias. Other projects at that time included the world premiere of a staged adaptation of the 1967 film Guess Who's Coming to Dinner at the Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company; and a musical inspired by the work of rapper Tupac Shakur.


Leon directed the 2019 Netflix film American Son, based on the play of the same name which he had directed on stage.


Most recently, he directed the Broadway premiere of Charles Fuller's Pulitzer Prize winning masterpiece, A Soldier's Play, starring Blair Underwood and David Alan Grier at Roundabout Theatre Company.

 


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