First-time author Joa Macnalie has just released The Hero In The Helmet: Colin Kaepernick, through Melanin Origins, LLC. The book, which is written in a third-person narrative, will educate both parents and children on the life and legacy of this modern-day inspirational maverick. The Hero In The Helmet is available at Barnes & Noble nationwide as well in a hardcover version and Kindle Edition on Amazon.com.
According to Macnalie, “The Hero in the Helmet” is a unique children’s story based on superstar athlete and humanitarian Colin Kaepernick, who became a national figure after he began kneeling during the singing of the national anthem at NFL games.
Kaepernick’s actions, both past and present, are intended to be acts of protests against police brutality and hate crimes targeted at Blacks and other minorities. Even still, many have misconstrued his message by declaring his actions as a sign of disrespect towards military/war veterans. Some have even gone as far as to demand that he silence his thoughts on political matters and stick to playing football, even though he has a right to have freedom of expression.
“I was inspired to write this book with several goals in mind,” says Macnalie. “I view Colin Kaepernick as the ‘people’s champ’ whose circumstances have striking similarities to those faced by iconic athletes Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali. I wanted to normalize the conversations of race/racism in America and its affects on people of color. Moreover, it was my desire to develop children’s ability to be critical consumers of the media and enhance their ability to form opinions without bias.
“I also find it important to celebrate our heroes while they are alive and relatable as opposed to when they have passed on and are not able to experience the impact they’ve made in their own communities and society at large.”
Macnalie’s book, which is filled with vivid, brilliant imagery was illustrated by Adua Hernandez, is a fun, insightful read for children of all ages. It contains a glossary for vocabulary building, and end-of-discussion questions to deepen the conversation whether it is at-home with parents, or in the classroom with teachers.