Vehemently opposed to the GOP’s recent attacks on Black and queer studies, NFL player Colin Kaepernick is hitting back with his soon-to-be-released book, “Our History Has Always Been Contraband: In Defense of Black Studies,” co-edited by Kaepernick, Robin D.G. Kelley and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor.
In an exclusive Interview with The New Republic, Kaepernick shared how the new book contends the necessity of Black studies to combat the GOP’s racist agenda.
“Not only has Black Studies long held a mirror up to this country to expose its founding mythologies and contradictions, but it has also helped to imagine an alternative future that’s grounded in the liberation of all people,” Kaepernick stated.
“Our History Has Always Been Contraband: In Defense of Black Studies” isn’t the only time Kaepernick abnegated America’s oppressive ways toward Blacks and people of color. In 2016, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback caught much flak for kneeling during the National Anthem to protest the country’s bigotry toward Blacks and people of color. The book set to release on the fourth of July is an extension of his efforts.
“Our History Has Always Been Contraband” is an anthology aimed at teaching all “about the genealogy of Black Studies and the richness of Black history.” Kaepernick, Kelley and Taylor fuse their essays with canonical texts from Black radicals to argue that the GOP’s attack on Black Studies is the country inching toward fascism. They also touch on white supremacy and how racism isn’t the only fueling it, but also “capitalism, heteropatriarchy, ableism” and more.
“Black Studies is for everyone: Black students, non-Black students of color, Indigenous students, and white students,” Kaepernick explained. “It is worth mentioning, however, that working to develop a sophisticated understanding of Black history and being in authentic relationship with Black people is an absolute necessity in order for white people to support the Black freedom movement without unknowingly doing great harm in the process.”
Nationwide, Republican politicians have tried to erase Black history to save white people from feeling guilty about what African American slaves endured.
One particular Florida politician, Gov. Ron DeSantis, enacted the 2022 Stop WOKE Act to prevent teachers from teaching critical race theory in public schools because he believes it’s part of the left-wing political agenda. Yet, his actions are clearly a part of the right-wing agenda, but he disguises it as caring about the education of the youth, as News Onyx has reported.
Proof? The state rejected AP African American Studies because the curriculum contained “controversial” material, causing the College Board to strip the curriculum, which now lacks depth.
For example, the initial course framework comprised gender and reformation of kinship, pan-Africanism and Black Lives Today, yet none of that will be taught. No recent social activism will be taught, like the protests after George Floyd’s cruel death.
Order the book here. Kaepernick also has a pdf version that is free to download.