“I hope that it honors the courage and bravery of young people everywhere by encouraging them to live with authenticity and purpose,” the 33-year-old said in a press release on Thursday, according to The Los Angeles Times. “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.”
I’m excited to share that I’ll be publishing I COLOR MYSELF DIFFERENT, a children’s book, with @KaepernickPub & @Scholastic on 4/5/22! #IColorMyselfDifferent is deeply personal to me & honors the courage & bravery of young people everywhere. Pre-order at https://t.co/0LpdyphIsD
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) July 15, 2021
The story, which is part of a multi-book deal between Kaepernick’s publishing company and Scholastic, is based on a key moment in the athlete’s childhood. In the book, ayoung Kaepernick is pictured as he draws his adopted white family in yellow crayon and then draws himself brown. In that moment, the boy recognizes the difference in the characters’ appearance and learns to celebrate each individual as they are.
“During a kindergarten exercise on drawing families, Kaepernick remembers putting down the yellow crayon he had been using to draw his family and picking up the brown crayon for himself,” the publishers said in a press release. “This moment crystallized for him the differences marked by his adoption, and how acknowledging those distinctions could encourage us all to be more accepting of ourselves and each other.”
The book, illustrated by Eric Wilkerson, is scheduled to be released on April 5, 2022, The Guardian reported. Kaepernick, who has received widespread criticism since deciding to kneel during the national anthem before football games to draw attention police brutality, hasn’t played in the NFL since 2016.
While the activist continues to face backlash, his supporters are excited for the new book.
Can’t wait to read it! You’re a great role model for kids!!
— Tina (@TinaSue55) July 15, 2021