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Colin Kaepernick’s I Color Myself Different is a new children’s book based on the football player’s true and inspiring journey as a child learning the value of embracing and celebrating their Black identity “through the power of radical self-love” and knowing their inherent worth.

In the book, illustrated by Eric Wilkerson, a young, adopted Colin goes on a journey of unpacking his identity and its uniqueness.

“When I was 5-years-old, I was given an assignment in school: ‘draw a picture of yourself and your family.’ I drew my white adoptive family with a yellow crayon and then picked up a brown crayon to draw myself,” the former San Franciso 49ers player told PEOPLE.

Highlighting that assignment’s impact, the 34-year-old athlete said the “revelatory moment taught me an important lesson about embracing my Black identity through the power of self-love and eventually helped me to understand how my brown skin was connected to my Blackness.”

“Above all, I hope that I Color Myself Different can inspire young people to embrace their power, love themselves and walk in the truth of their own path,” the activist continued.

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Released via the former NFL player’s company Kaepernick Publishing and through a multi-book publishing deal with Scholastic, I Color Myself Different is Kaepernick’s first children’s book on the market.

“I always loved reading but I wish there could have been more books at my disposal that reflected my own identity and experiences,” Kaepernick said in a statement. “In part, this is why I wrote I Color Myself Different. I want young readers — particularly young Black and Brown readers — to see themselves as central to the stories we tell.”

The book is now available via Amazon, Target, Walmart, Books-A-Million and other major book retailers. 

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