On Saturday, November 16, 2019, Colin Kaepernick worked out at Charles R. Drew High School in Riverdale, Georgia.
Colin Kaepernick has not played NFL football in three seasons. Three NFL preseasons ago, Kaepernick refused to stand during the playing of the National Anthem.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL network’s Steve Wyche during the NFL’s preseason three years ago.
While performing his workout with media watching, Kaepernick wore a t-shirt that read: Kunta Kinte.
Kunta Kinte is a character in the 1976 novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family by American by author Alex Haley.
Roots detailed slavery and was Haley’s account of Kunta Kinte’s life. Roots was later made into a television miniseries in 1977 and later remade again in 2016.
Here are five facts that you need to know about Kunta Kinte:
1. Kunta Kinte was played by LeVar Burton in the miniseries.
LeVar Burton didn’t only play himself in PBS’s Reading Rainbow and Lieutenant Commander Geordi la Forge in Star Trek the Next Generation, he also played the role of a Young Kunta Kinte. That role of Kinte was Burton’s first role ever.
2. Kunta Kinte’s African Origin
Kunta Kinte was born in 1750 in the Mandinka village of Juffure, in the Gambia. raised in a Muslim family. One day in 1767, while Kunta was searching for wood to make a drum for his younger brother, four men chased him, surrounded him, and took him captive.
Kunta woke up and found himself blindfolded, gagged, bound, and a prisoner. He and others were put on the slave ship the Lord Ligonier for a four-month Middle Passage voyage to North America.
In one classic scene from the Roots film, Kunta Kinte was whipped by his slave master for not acknowledging his slave name of Toby.
3. Kunta Kinte Was Referenced in Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America
The John Landis directed, Coming to America film starred Eddie Murphy and was released in 1988. Coming to America detailed Akeem Joffer. Akeem was the prince of Zamunda, a fictional African nation. Akeem moves to Queens, New York to find a woman that he could marry.
In the film, Akeem visits a barbershop and Kunta Kinte was referenced.
Also worth noting: the romantic comedy, created by Murphy also starred Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, Shari Headley, and John Amos.
4. Kunta Kinte Was Also Played By actor, John Amos in Roots miniseries
John Amos didn’t only play the father of hit television show, Good Times. Amos also played the role of an older Kunta Kinte. In one scene of the Roots miniseries, Amos ran away from the slave plantation.
As punishment, his foot was chopped off.
5. Kunta Kinte Has Also Been Referenced in Dave Chapelle’s Chappelle Show, on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and by Missy Elliott
In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will Smith’s character once said: “Why don’t you just do me like Kunta Kinte and chop off my foot?”
Kendrick Lamar references Kunta Kinte in his 2015 single release, “King Kunta”.
Comedian Dave Chappelle referenced Kunta Kinte on the Chappelle’s Show in the sketch The World Series of Dice.
Missy Elliott referenced Kunta Kinte in “Work It.”