Growing Up with a Black Captain America

Growing Up with a Black Captain America

Spoiler alert!

For those that haven’t seen Marvel’s The Avengers: End Game, this isn’t for you – or maybe it is.

The creators of Marvel shocked us by retiring the white Captain America, Steve Rogers, by handing the red-and-blue shield to Sam Wilson, the beloved Falcon. Steve goes back into the time warp to return the Infinity Stones the Avengers had taken to reverse the damage Thanos brought to the world – only to return as a really, really old Steve.

So what now?

Well, I for one am celebrating the diversity Marvel has begun to embrace. Thanks to the smoking hot T’Challa and the deeply moving Black Panther, an almost-all-black cast superhero movie, massive shifts in inclusion and diversity are taking place in one of the world’s most favorite movie franchises. And now, the title of Captain America is bequeathed to a black actor.

Black people are finally being given the recognition they deserve. Although far from perfect, the social discourse will begin to shift because America is represented by a black man, a man hailing from a race that was at the absolute bottom of history and politics’ social hierarchy. Perhaps black children can now begin to embrace their dark pigment, their wiry hair, and their heritage. Maybe we’ll stop romanticizing or exoticizing black features, habits, accents and the way of life. Perhaps people can begin to treat black people as equally American as their white counterparts – and as equally a part of the American fabric of life.

Albeit late, but still very welcome, a black Captain America on screen is a much welcome presence. It’s not a new thing actually; turns out, in the original Marvel comics, Captain America was a black guy, but really, it did take the TV universe long enough to hand over the shield to a black actor, didn’t it?

Either way, thanks to Marvel, I kind of have my faith restored in society. After the horrible series of events that spurred the #BlackLivesMatter movement, it’s a great way to use digital media, dramatic stories, and a sensationalized character to finally shake up the white discourse that’s very imbued in all of us.

Maybe the Cap should’ve met Peggy a while ago, don’t you think? Anyway, let us know what you think in the comments – we’re pretty excited for Anthony Mackie for taking on the mantle as our new Captain America!