Easy (will try to keep it as simple as I can). Color is carried only on the X chromosone. So the mother gives color to all her male offspring (XY). For females, they would get a color gene from both the mother and the father (XX).
Torties/calicos can give both a black and a red color chromosone. If the father is a red, then he passes the red color to his daughters. If the calico mother also gives a red - you have a red daughter; but if she gives a black, then you have a calico/tortie.
Because you have a black/white kitten, the mother gave the black color and the father of the kitten was a black or blue.