On this day in 1987…
Much has changed in the four years since Colin Kaepernick was last on the cover of GQ. Back then he was a rippling superhero of a quarterback on the rise. But a simple act—kneeling during the national anthem—changed everything. It cost him his job. It also transformed Colin Kaepernick into a lightning rod and a powerful symbol of activism and resistance.
Curators Zoe Whitely and Mark Godfrey subdivided a mass of 150 works from as many as 60 to occupy 12 rooms at the gallery. They also set an austere tone for the exhibition, as if to prepare the visitor’s mind, placing five screens at the entrance with each one playing, on a loop, speeches any luminaries including King, Malcolm X and James Baldwin.
[Rosa] Parks became an icon of resistance. Meanwhile, Colvin became an outcast, branded a troublemaker within her community after her initial arrest and conviction. She was abandoned by civil rights leaders when she became pregnant at 16. Although she has gained recognition in recent years — a book about her life won the National Book Award in 2009 — Colvin is still largely glossed over by history and her immense contribution and sacrifice has never been officially recognized by the U.S. government, as Parks was.
Teen Vogue spoke with Colvin, now 78 years old, at her home in New York and by phone about her experiences.
Read the whole interview: Claudette Colvin Explains Her Role in the Civil Rights Movement | Teen Vogue