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DuVernay and Kaepernick Team Up On Netflix

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Photo: Reuters, Getty

Netflix Announces a New Dramatic Limited Series on Colin Kaepernick’s High School Years Created by Kaepernick and Ava DuVernay ‘Colin in Black & White’

Hollywood, Calif. — The adolescent life of all-star athlete and activist Colin Kaepernick will come to television screens around the world in Colin in Black & White, a new scripted limited series from Kaepernick and Academy Award® Nominee and Emmy Award® Winner Ava DuVernay. The series will focus on Kaepernick’s formative high school years, lending meaningful insight into the acts and experiences that led him to become the activist he is today. Emmy Award® Nominee Michael Starrbury writes and serves as executive producer, alongside DuVernay and Kaepernick who will appear as himself as narrator of the series.

The six-episode series, which was conceived in 2019 and recently completed writing in May, provides an introspective look at Kaepernick’s early life as a Black child growing up with a white adopted family and his journey to become a great quarterback while defining his identity. The limited series reunites Starrbury and DuVernay who last worked together on Netflix’s acclaimed When They See Us, which received 16 Emmy Award® Nominations, including a nomination for Outstanding Writing for the duo and was recently honored with a Peabody Award®. 

“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,” said DuVernay. “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.” 

“Too often we see race and Black stories portrayed through a white lens,” said Kaepernick. “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.”

“We’re proud to bring Colin’s experience and his creative vision to life as he joins Ava to share his powerful story and message with all our members around the world,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President, Original Content for Netflix. “It is an unparalleled union of two strong and defining voices coming together to tell the story about what it’s like to be Black in America.”

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The Stage Is Set

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The NFL season is just a few weeks in, but the halftime time show is booked. Singer, actress, and business woman Rihanna will headline the 2023 NFL Super Bowl halftime show in Glendale, Arizona on February 12, 2023. This will be her first performance since she performed in public at the 2018 Grammy Awards, and since her 2016 album release. In 2018 it was reported that Rihanna and a number of other artist declined an invitation to perform at the Super Bowl in support of Colin Kaepernick, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who was at the center of a National Anthem kneeling controversy.

Rihanna, Rock Nation and the NFL are believed to bring music and sports fans a momentous show. This will be Apple Music’s first time sponsoring the halftime show as they have now replaced long time sponsor Pepsi.

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New Highly Anticipated Season Premiere

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All-new episodes of TV One’s original docu-series, “UNSUNG” and “UNCENSORED” debut Sunday, September 25. “UNSUNG” leads with R&B legend Tony Terry at 9 p.m. ET/8C followed by “UNCENSORED” featuring award-winning actor and entertainer Kadeem Hardison at 10 p.m. ET/9C. Each episode will be published on TV One’s website TVOne.tv. “UNSUNG,” one of the network’s longest-running and seven-time NAACP Image Award-winning series, highlights the careers and explores the personal lives of some of the most talented and influential Black artists, performers and musicians in history. On this season’s premiere episode, singer Tony Terry shares the journey of his early success, experiencing longevity in the entertainment industry and clears the air in his own words. 

The season also includes: 

“Women Take The Mic” Sunday, October 2 

Reggae Revolutions Sunday, October 9 

Jean Carn Sunday, October 16 

Warryn Campbell Sunday, October 23 

Norman Conners Sunday, October 30 

Solar Records Sunday, November 6 

“UNSUNG” is narrated by actor Gary Anthony Williams and is executive produced by Frank Sinton and Arthur Smith of A. Smith & Co. Productions. Mark Rowland, Kysha Mounia and Jamecia Blount also serve as Executive Producers. For TV One, Austyn Biggers is the SVP of Programming and Jason Ryan is the Executive Producer in Charge of Production. 

Directly following “UNSUNG” is the return of the hit, autobiographical series “UNCENSORED,” which explores the lives of popular celebrities and personalities as they provide first-hand accounts of their successes and the obstacles they faced throughout their careers. The premiere episode highlights award-winning actor Kadeem Hardison. While best known for his iconic role as Dwayne Wayne in the classic “A Different World,” Kadeem transparently and authentically shares the story of his nearly four-decade career. 

This season also includes:  

Keshia Knight Pulliam Sunday, October 2

Tyson Beckford Sunday, October 9

Garcelle Beauvais Sunday, October 16 

KeKe Wyatt Sunday, October 23 

Mario Van Peebles Sunday, October 30 

Deon Cole Sunday, November 6 

“UNCENSORED” is produced for TV One by Eric Tomosunas, Keith Neal, and James Seppelfrick (Executive Producers), Jay Allen and Nikki Byles (Co-Executive Producers), and Rachel Valley (Producer) of Swirl Films. For TV One, Austyn Biggers is the SVP of Programming and Jason Ryan is the Executive Producer in Charge of Production. 

For more information on “UNCENSORED” and “UNSUNG,” visit TV One’s YouTube Channel and check out exclusive, behind-the-scenes content on http://www.tvone.tv. Viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on TV One’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@tvonetv) Be sure to follow “UNCENSORED” & “UNSUNG” on Facebook and Instagram (@UncensoredTVOne) using the hashtag #UncensoredTVOne and #UNSUNG. 

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Blacks Win Big

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This year at the 2022 Emmy Awards black actors and writers made their presence known. It was an extraordinary night at the Emmys with wins for the history books in major categories. Abbott Elementary and cast members walked away with Emmys including Quinta Brunson, Writing for a Comedy Series and Cheryl Lee Ralph who picked up her first-ever Emmy for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Abbott Elementary). Ralph portrays Mrs. Howard, a tough but loving kindergarten teacher.

Actress Zendaya won her second Emmy for her role in HBO’s hit “Euphoria.” She made history because at age 26 she became the youngest to win two Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. (Her first Emmy was won in 2020 in the same category for her portrayal of troubled teen Rue Bennett.) Lizzo’s “Watch Out for the Big Grrls” won in the Competition Program category, and Jerrod Carmichael won his first Emmy for Writing for a Variety Special Rothaniel.

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