He's among eight recipients of the W.E.B. Du Bois medal.
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It honors those who have made a significant contribution to African and African-American history and culture.
Other honorees include comedian Dave Chappelle and San Francisco-based art collector and philanthropist Pamela Joyner.
TIMELINE: Looking back at Colin Kaepernick's transformation from football star to social justice advocate
Get the latest on former 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick here.