Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick looks on during the Colin Kaepernick NFL workout held at Charles R. Drew High School on November 16, 2019 in Riverdale, Georgia.
Carmen Mandato

Colin Kaepernick To Release Memoir

Colin Kaepernick has announced plans to release a memoir.

After years of virtual silence since leaving the NFL after kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality, Colin Kaepernick has announced that he will release his memoir by the end of 2020.

According to a press release and further confirmed on Kaepernick's Twitter page, the former Super Bowl quarterback will release the book through his own publishing company, Kaepernick Publishing. Audible, the industry-leading producer of audiobooks, will exclusively present the audio version. Print and e-book versions will be published by Kaepernick Publishing in partnership with Melcher Media, with distribution by Ingram Brand's Two Rivers Distribution.

"My protest was the culmination of years of thought and experiences, of learning and unlearning. I want to tell the story of my evolution, and the events that led me to protest systemic oppression, in hopes that it will inspire others to rise in action," Kaepernick said in a statement. "I am excited that through this groundbreaking partnership between Kaepernick Publishing and Audible, we can elevate Black and Brown voices who can empower future generations." The release also stated that Kaepernick founded his own company to emphasize the importance of black ownership, and "to give power to Black and Brown voices globally" in the fields of literature and spoken word.

Kaepernick played six seasons for the San Francisco 49ers, and made the Super Bowl in his first full season as a starter. But he would become much more known four years later, when he began to sit out the national anthem during his team's preseason games as a protest against police brutality against people of color. The move sparked nationwide controversy, with detractors – including President Donald Trump – declaring his protest as unpatriotic. But for his supporters, he has become one of the most revered cultural figures in America for his willingness to fight the system.

At the end of the 2016-2017 season, Kaepernick opted out of his contract and became a free agent. He has been unable to land with another team since then, despite continuing to train five days a week and many sports pundits believing that he's still a better quarterback than many who are playing in the league. He also sued the NFL for collusion to keep him out of the league, before settling for an undisclosed amount. During his time out of the NFL, Kaepernick has put more time into activism, including his Know Your Rights Camp for children and over $1 million in donations to social justice and education causes. But he has rarely spoken publicly about his protests or his time away from the NFL.

“I’ve had a lot of questions surrounding what got me to the point of protesting," he said in an interview with USA Today. "Why did I do it? Why did I do it at that moment? Why wasn’t it earlier in my career? A lot of questions surrounding what led me to that point. Which led me to wanting to share that story and give insight. So I think there’s a lot of interest around it, but time will tell when the book comes out.”

From the Web

More on Vibe

Getty Images

Katherine Johnson, Famed NASA Mathematician, Dies At 101

On Monday morning (Feb. 24), news surfaced of famed mathematician Katherine Johnson's passing at age 101. The pioneer in science and math was memorialized by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), where she worked in 1953 before retiring in 1986.

"We're saddened by the passing of celebrated #HiddenFigures mathematician Katherine Johnson," the statement reads. "Today, we celebrate her 101 years of life and honor her legacy of excellence that broke down racial and social barriers."

We're saddened by the passing of celebrated #HiddenFigures mathematician Katherine Johnson. Today, we celebrate her 101 years of life and honor her legacy of excellence that broke down racial and social barriers: https://t.co/Tl3tsHAfYB pic.twitter.com/dGiGmEVvAW

— NASA (@NASA) February 24, 2020

Throughout her tenure at NASA, Johnson worked on equations and solutions to aid in successful flight missions. It wasn't until 1962 that her skills placed her in an upper echelon of mathematicians for her work during astronaut John Glenn's orbital mission. The moment was depicted in a book authored by Margot Lee Shetterly titled Hidden Figures. In 2017, a film of the same name was created and broke records for its real-life storytelling.

In an interview with The Guardian, actress Taraji P. Henson who portrayed Johnson onscreen, said upon meeting the legendary figure, she realized how much they had in common. “When I met [Johnson], the way she talked about maths, the way her eyes lit up, that’s how I feel about acting," she said. "I understand her passion; you can replace that with anything.”

Cemented alongside her other achievements, Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former President Barack Obama in 2015.

Continue Reading
Bennett Raglin

B. Smith, Lifestyle Guru, Restaurateur And Former Model, Dies From Alzheimer’s Disease

B. Smith, the groundbreaking lifestyle guru, restaurateur, author and former model, died on Saturday (Feb. 22) from early on-set Alzheimer’s disease. She was 70.

Smith’s husband, Dan Gasby, announced her death via Facebook on Sunday (Feb. 23). “It is with great sadness that my daughter, Dana, and I announce the passing of my wife, Barbara Elaine Smith,” the statement reads. “B died peacefully Saturday, February 22, 2020, at 10:50 p.m., of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease in our home in Long Island, New York.”

Barbara Elaine Smith was born in Everson, Penn., on Aug. 24, 1949. Smith began her modeling career in the 1960s working for Ebony Fashion Fair and later signing with Wilhelmina Models. Smith covered 15 magazines during her modeling days, including becoming the first Black model to cover Mademoiselle magazine in 1976. Additionally, Smith appeared in TV commercials for Mercedes-Benz, and worked as a spokesperson for Verizon, Colgate, Palmolive, and more.

Smith opened her first of multiple restaurants in New York City’s theater district in 1986. She also opened restaurants in Long Island, N.Y. and Washington D.C.

For nearly a decade, Smith hosted the nationally syndicated show, B. Smith with Style, captivating audiences with her bright personality and unforgettable smile. Smith also produced multiple specials for TV One and was bestselling author. Her signature tagline, “Whatever you do, do it with style,” was featured at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

In 2001, Bed Bath & Beyond debuted the B. Smith Style Home Collection. The collection, which including bedding, doormats and more, made Smith the first Black woman to have a home decor line sold by a national retailer.

Smith publicly revealed her Alzheimer’s diagnosis to CBS News in 2014. During the interview, Smith didn’t shy away from expressing her fears of battling the disease, and admitted that she initially tried to hide it, but she was determined to persevering in spite of Alzheimer’s.

“I think the future’s going to be fine,” Smith said at the time. “I’m going to do my best to make it work out for me, and for as many people that I can possibly help.”

Read dedications to Smith below.

The elegance. The grace. The style. May God rest and bless her soul. #BSmith was one-of-a-kind.

Thanks to @mmeans40 for this fantastic video. pic.twitter.com/ByZRURLiHY

— Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 23, 2020

She broke down barriers. She shined. She fought the good fight. Rest In Peace, B. Smith.#BSmith pic.twitter.com/ocEL3IkDoC

— Audrey Washington (@AudreyWSBTV) February 23, 2020

.⁦@ThankyouDan⁩ #Memories #BSmith was an icon and a mentor. Rest in power Queen B. pic.twitter.com/zCf2LrXUhz

— Maya R. Cummings, Ph.D. (@MayaRockeymoore) February 23, 2020

RIP to the legendary B.Smith

I remember growing up and watching her show. I wanted to be her. Style and grace. Rest well beautiful. pic.twitter.com/diBjGf1Jyb

— Melanin Monroe (@whatdedesays) February 23, 2020

Sad to share the passing of restauranteur, model and advocate B. Smith after a several year battle with Alzheimer’s. We are thankful she spoke at our Celebrating Hope Gala in 2016. Rest B. And thank you 💜 #ENDALZ @alzassociation pic.twitter.com/G9IDVAB0DL

— Alzheimer's Association Connecticut Chapter (@alzct) February 23, 2020

We lost legendary fashion model, chef, restaurateur, lifestyle icon and magazine publisher, B Smith today. 70 years old, she and her husband, Dan Gasby were at the forefront of #alzheimers #research for people of color. Love to them and daughter, Dana. #bsmithwithstyle pic.twitter.com/pqFOpa9oxs

— Al Roker (@alroker) February 23, 2020

I only met B. Smith once or twice at her restaurant in New York City.

She was beautiful, graceful and welcoming each time. As a model, a TV personality, a business owner and an entrepreneur, she was always a trailblazer.

May she rest in peace. https://t.co/YqyxUZKMrB

— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) February 23, 2020

All of these things so true. Thank you B. Smith. https://t.co/Fmi0QJNviu

— Tamron Hall (@tamronhall) February 23, 2020

RIP B. Smith. You epitomized class, true beauty and dignity. Rest well Queen❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/uJlWb9aapG

— Viola Davis (@violadavis) February 23, 2020

Continue Reading

Malcolm X’s Daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, Speaks On His Legacy And Netflix Docuseries

In commemoration of the 55th anniversary of his assassination, Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, spoke out on her father’s legacy and the popular Netflix documentary, Who Killed Malcolm X? 

Speaking with Democracy Now on Friday (Feb. 21), Ilyasah praised the filmmakers behind the six-part docuseries for their work in attempting to uncover, “Who killed our father? Who took the life of a very young man who challenged the moral compass of world nations.”

Ilyasah was just two years old when her father was assassinated in front of her, three of her sisters and her mother, Betty Shabazz, who was pregnant with twins at the time. A week before Malcolm’s murder, the family’s home was firebombed.

Ilyasah has no memory of her father’s assassination which took place on Feb. 21, 1965, inside Harlem's Audubon Ballroom. Malcolm was preparing to give a speech in the venue and invited his family to sit in the front row.

“I’m really grateful that I don’t have memory as my older sisters I’m sure can recollect, being 6 years old and 4 years old, the trauma and chaos and understanding that our father never came home,” she said. “And especially to my mother who was a young woman that actually saw bullets just tear my father’s body apart.”

The interview details the days leading up to Malcolm's death, including France banning him from entry into the country three weeks before his assassination. Malcolm who was only 39 years old when he died, traveled to Europe during the first week of February in 1965. He was turned away at the airport in France without explanation and subsequently forced to fly back to London where he delivered what would become one of his final speeches at the London School of Economics.

“He realized this was bigger than the Nation of Islam,” Ilyasah explained of Malcolm being banned from France. “The Nation of Islam itself did not have the power to keep him [out of France] and France did not want history to include that Malcolm was assassinated on their land. And so that speaks volumes, and my father understood that his life was not just challenged by the Nation of Islam. It was much bigger than that.

“It’s important to look at the work that he was doing,” she added. “Challenging world powers, challenging world nations for taking control of an [unequal] distribution of the world’s wealth.”

Ilyasah also dismantles the notion that her father “miraculously became Malcolm X” after he went to prison by detailing how his upbringing shaped his interest in political activism.

“He was always a leader,” she said. “He was always compassionate, he was always a learned young man. His parents instilled specific values in him and his siblings. The importance of self love, compassion, [and] care.”

Watch the full interview in the video above (Ilyasah’s portion begins at 12:17).

Continue Reading

Top Stories