If Colin Kaepernick never plays in the NFL again, he has a future in magazine publishing.The headline grabbing quarterback — who opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers following the 2016 NFL season to become a free agent, and has gone unsigned since kneeling during the national anthem before games — is the guest curator of Paper magazine’s upcoming “People” issue, which hits newsstands Sept. 3.
And it’s a bastion of black excellence and wokeness.
Kap gathered 10 black thought leaders and celebrities to be interviewed, including Golden Globe-winning actress Taraji P. Henson, civil rights activist Angela Davis, Me Too movement founder Tarana Burke, transgender actress Indiya Moore and the exonerated Central Park 5, among others
He’s not the first guest editor for the New York City-based indie culture magazine — other guest editors have included singer Katy Perry, actress China Chow, rapper Gucci Mane and model Emily Ratajkowski — but he’s arguably the one who crafted the most socially conscious issue.
Captured by Philadelphia-based photographer Shawn Theodore, the shadowy imagery of the magazine is accompanied by conversations moderated by radio host Miabelle Bocicault, Stanford Fellow Dr. Ameer Hasan Loggins and Dr. Christopher Petreela from Washington’s Antiracist Research & Policy Center.
The concept was for each interview subject to share their stories relating to one of the 10 pillars of Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights campaign.
Nessa Diab, a New York City radio and television personality and social media influencer who is also Kaepernick’s girlfriend, offers her story for the “You Have A Right to be Loved” pillar, while “Blackish” actress Yara Shahidi is showcased for the “You Have the Right to be Educated.”
Kaepernick, who previously offered a more general explanation that his silent protests were against racism and police brutality, reveals that his protests were a response to a deadly December 2015 confrontation between San Francisco police officers and 26-year-old Mario Woods, who was suspected of a stabbing attack.
Shot 20 times after allegedly refusing police orders to drop his knife, Woods died and his family later settled a lawsuit against the city for $400,000.
Comparisons to the Black Panther Party’s Ten-Point Platform and Program, which articulated 10 demands and 10 beliefs that formed the basis of the organization, are juxtaposed with Kaepernick’s 10 pillars.
Fifty years later, the Milwaukee native asked and then rattled off names of black people killed by police in recent years. “Laquan McDonald, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray. The Panthers’ demands are still alive today because the police are still killing us today.”