After locking a multi-book deal with Scholastic, former NFL player and now civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick is gearing up to release a new book.
On Thursday, July 15, Kaepernick announced the news of the deal on his publishing company website, Kaepernick Publishing. Under the partnership, Kaepernick will release several children’s books that center around the topics of race and identity.
Additionally, in the announcement, Kaepernick divulged the title of his first project under the deal. It’s called “I Color Myself Different” and is inspired by a true story from Kaepernick’s childhood. It’s about an exercise Kaepernick did in kindergarten where he had to draw his family. He recalls using a yellow crayon to color his family, but using a brown crayon to color himself.
This exercise just reminded Kaepernick that he was different from his adopted family. Kaepernick, who is of African and Caucasian descent, was given up by his biological parents for adoption at five to six weeks old and was adopted by high-school sweethearts, Rick and Teresa Kaepernick.
According to the press release, Kaepernick is using his story to explain “how acknowledging those distinctions could encourage us all to be more accepting of ourselves and each other.”
The 33-year-old said, “This story is deeply personal to me, and inspired by real events in my life. I hope that it honors the courage and bravery of young people everywhere by encouraging them to live with authenticity and purpose. He continued, “I’m excited for Kaepernick Publishing to be collaborating with Scholastic on books with Black and Brown voices at the forefront. I hope that our books will inspire readers to walk through the world with confidence, strength, and truth in all they do.” The book will be released next year in April.
Before becoming an activist, Kaepernick was the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. He played for six seasons. In 2016, he became a hot topic when people noticed that he would no longer stand for the national anthem during the games. Kaepernick explained his reasoning for kneeling or sitting out during the national anthem stemmed from the oppression of Black people in America as well as the loss of Black lives at the hands of police.
He told NFL Media, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
After opting out of his contract with the 49ers in 2017, there were speculations of Kaepernick being blackballed because no other NFL teams were looking to sign him, but were willing to sign other quarterbacks that many believed had less talent.
However, Kaepernick has used his time away from the field to continue to advocate for the equality of Black lives and people of color.