The Black Prophetic Fire of Colin Kaepernick
NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling for the national anthem before games in the fall of 2016 was meant to call attention to racial injustice in the United States. He has become a lightning rod for criticism as well as a hero for speaking truth to power. I argue in this essay that Kaepernick is best understood as that which draws on what Cornel West calls “black prophetic fire.” This distinguishes Kaepernick’s activism from the kind that criticizes white supremacy without linking it to institutional structures that support it. The hyper-militaristic/capitalistic context that the NFL has fostered helps make Kaepernick’s protest appropriately prophetic.
KeywordsFootball Prophet Jeremiad NFL Kaepernick Race
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