The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has begged a good question, which has sparked a little debate. Fair warning, this will contain spoilers. For those who are Marvel fans or have seen Avengers: Endgame, you know that Captain America, Steve Rogers, passed his legacy on to Sam, a.k.a Falcon. Sam and Steve were very close, and Sam was honored that he was chosen to be the next Captain America, but he did not feel fit for the job. So, he passed on it but later events would have him reconsider.
In season one episode two, entitled “The Star-Spangled Man,” we are introduced to Isaiah Bradley. Isaiah Bradley, just like Captain America, is a super soldier and war vet. The only thing that separates the two is how they were treated. Bradley was not celebrated and loved, instead, he was imprisoned and tested on for 30-years. I think it is pretty obvious that Bradley is Black.
In season one episode five Bradley’s full backstory is revealed. When Sam hears his story, he cannot believe what happened to him. He thinks Bradley could have been the next Captain America, but Bradley shuts that down quickly. He lets Sam know that he could never be Captain America because the only person America would allow to have that title is someone with blonde hair and blue eyes. He also says, “They will never let a Black man be Captain America. And if they did, no self-respecting Black man would ever want to be.” This leaves Sam to wonder even more if he wants to take the position.
So, with Isaiah Bradley’s logic, the question is: Should a Black man be Captain America? America is infamous for racism, especially towards the Black community. Why would a Black man want to be a savior for the same country that is his oppressor time and time again? Personally, I think Sam should be Captain America. Yes, this country has always been against Black people, but Sam taking this position is more than this country’s history. Sam not only wants to be Captain America, but it will be a huge change for Black citizens.
The face of America being Black is game-changing. It can be seen as a turning point because there are not many Black superheroes. It will be empowering for upcoming generations to see a Black man as the number one hero in America, who is also the face of America. Also, taking into consideration of American history, we are going from a White man being the symbol of peace to a Black man. It is extraordinary. Sam can really make a change by being Captain America. He can instill hope within the Black community.
Another reason why he should be Captain America is that he wants to. In episode five he says what Steve thought does not matter. Even though this was directed towards Bucky, at that moment he is also taking responsibility for his own future. He is overcoming his self-doubt. And, although he says what Steve thought did not matter, it is still a huge honor to be chosen to be the next Captain America by the original. Steve could have chosen anyone, but he chose Sam. Not his best friend Bucky, who he fought in wars with, put his name and reputation on the line for, and more, but Sam. That means he earned that title and understands the meaning and what it takes to be Captain America.