I just finished binging Netflix’s six-episode limited series Colin in Black and White. If you haven’t watched it, check it out. Doesn’t matter if you’re a Kaepernick hater or if you support him. Watch the documentary because at the least, it will make you think about a couple of things.
Maybe it will solidify how you feel about Colin, who knows. Maybe it’ll change your mind.
But give it a chance.
The finale gives a proper bow on his high school story. It shows how, while he could have been one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball, it wasn’t what he wanted to do. He wanted (and still wants) to be a quarterback. He’s set his goal and while he’s not the first choice (and rarely in his life has he been the first choice), he has shown numerous times that he is the right choice.
What made things very dusty for me this evening was the closing in the finale, where he writes a letter to his younger self. Part of what he writes really hit me right in my heart
Trust your power.
Even when you don’t see it.
Believe in it.
Because you’re going to need it …
While you focus on becoming a quarterback, something else will be happening. Something extraordinary. Something that you can feel but don’t have the words or the wisdom to articulate. You will learn to love who you are and not give a damn that who you are makes some people uncomfortable.
You will know no matter how much people try to control you that they cannot break you.
And you will learn to find beauty in places where the world tells you there is none.
And because of these things, you will know when people try to tell you when and where you can be a quarterback, it doesn’t matter because you will see you are more than a quarterback.
Trust your power.
Love your blackness.
You will know who you are.Colin in Black and White, Episode 6 (emphasis included by DQW)
I still chuckle, from time to time, at how many of my former friends remain shocked at how I “changed” years ago. The moment that I stopped shucking and jiving and decided that it was OK for me to be a black man, to truly be a black man and not just the “well spoken fella” that got me through high school and college, suddenly people felt “you’ve become angry.”
Whatever … I’ve become me. Watching the implosion of the Republican party as they sold everything in order to stop President Obama or to get President Trump elected, even if that met hanging Vice President Pence in order to “stop the steal” was the final straw in holding my tongue, censoring my thoughts, and aligning myself with people who were not truly in alignment with me.
And suddenly, I’m the angry one. I’m the son of a bitch that should be run out.
No … I’m not going anywhere.
Thank you, Colin, for sharing your experience in the series. Thanks for sharing those words. It’s helped me to trust my power and finally start to love who I am, to love my blackness.