Colin Kaepernick Wants You to Know Your Rights

Colin Kaepernick Wants You to Know Your Rights

August 20, 2019 0 Comments

Written by Miabelle Bocicault, Dr. Ameer Hasan Loggins, Dr. Christopher Petrella
Guest Edited by Colin Kaepernick

On October 15, 1966, Oakland-based activists Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton drafted a roadmap to Black freedom. Originally known as the Black Panther Party's Ten-Point Platform and Program, the document articulated 10 demands and 10 beliefs that formed the basis of the organization. "Black people will not be free until we are able to determine our destiny," wrote Seale and Newton. Among the Panthers' demands were an "education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present-day society" and "an immediate end to police brutality and the murder of Black people."

"That was over 50 years ago. And what has changed?" Colin Kaepernick asks. "Oscar Grant, Rekia Boyd, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice. What has changed? Laquan McDonald, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray. The Panthers' demands are still alive today because the police are still killing us today."

Ten months before the then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback took a knee during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" in protest of systemic anti-Blackness and police terrorism, he and his partner, Nessa, devised a plan. The seeds of that plan gave birth to the Know Your Rights Camp (KYRC), a traveling youth-empowerment initiative.

As Kaepernick describes it, "The discussion happened shortly after the execution of Mario Woods." The murder of the 26-year-old Woods on December 2, 2015 by five San Francisco police officers left Kaepernick with feelings of loss, pain and here

This movement needs all types of people. From athletes to healers to poets and artists to scholars and lawyers, we need everyone to contribute to the struggle."

Woods' murder coincided with Kaepernick's resolve to put his social analysis into action. "If Colin wasn't reviewing a playbook," recalls Nessa, "he was reading a history book." Week after week, Kaepernick could be found devouring texts on the global struggle for Black freedom and self-determination. His bookshelf was overflowing with titles like The Autobiography of Malcolm X; Women, Race, & Classby Angela Davis and Huey P. Newton's autobiography, Revolutionary Suicide. The texts offered Kaepernick ideas for architecting the camp and its curriculum.

KYRC is designed to serve as a home base and safe space for young folks — particularly Black youth ages 12-18 — to gain legal knowledge for navigating all-too-common violent encounters with police officers and to thrive in the areas of... [READ MORE...]