Money Management

Black Voices: Falcon and the Winter Soldier explores being black in America

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Unlike Marvel’s deep dive into Wanda Maximoff’s heartbreak in the hit series “WandaVision,” “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” fleshed out another important, but overlooked, aspect of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – the racism.

“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” begins in Episode 1, offering a glimpse into the Falcon character known as Sam Wilson, and how his personal life and celebrity status affect his daily interactions. Black heroes and army veterans know life is no hero cash the color of your skin, and Sam quickly finds out.

Marvel’s expedition into racial tensions in the United States begins with Sam and his sister, Sarah, applying for a small business loan. The loan officer apparently recognizes Sam but believes he played basketball for state college. This case of mistaken identity may seem small, but the comparison tells audiences exactly what kind of interaction this scene was going to represent – a racist interaction.

After asking a series of irrelevant questions and taking two selfies, the loan officer reveals that the bank would not approve a loan for Sam. The main reason given by the loan officer was that Sam had no income. in the past 5 years, despite the fact that he did not have to exist due to the events of “Avengers: Infinity War” and Sam’s current military contracts as the Falcon. Apparently the event, known as “the Spot, “Constrains” the bank’s resources.

Sarah sits next to Sam with an air of utter disgust, a look the black community especially uses whenever racist things happen. About 46% of loans to black-owned businesses get approved in the United States, according to the Federal Reserve, and being an Avenger doesn’t make Sam an exception to that statistic, even in the Marvel Universe.

The opening sequence of Episode 1 shows Sam donating Steve Rogers’ vibranium shield, which was given to him at the end of Avengers Endgame, to the Smithsonian for the Captain America exhibit. After the ceremony, a government official tells Sam he’s “doing the right thing” by donating the iconic shield. This interaction seems straightforward at first, but at the end of the episode, the shield is handed over to a white soldier named John Walker.

It hurts Sam, because the last memory of his friend Steve is now with someone Steve has never met, just because he’s white. Steve himself chose Sam to continue Captain America’s legacy, and the US government denied his wishes because they couldn’t handle a Black Captain America. The decision to replace Sam with John was purely political as John had no power or experience as a superhero, just a polished military resume.

This is not the first time in the series that the US government has attacked a black man who has pledged to fight America’s enemies. Episode 2 features Isaiah Bradley, the first Black Captain America. It’s even revealed that Bradley was the only person able to stand up against Bucky, the Winter Soldier, taking a piece of his metal arm in the process.

How did the US government reimburse Isaiah for participating in this suicide mission? Locking him up and experimenting on him for 30 years for getting revenge when he was black. Isaiah’s experiences as a lab rat and eventual U.S. government scapegoat run parallel to the story of neglect and neglect. experimentation blacks. Some examples include Tuskegee’s experiments on syphilis and early forms of gynecology research based on the brutal test of black women.

When Sam asks Bucky why he hasn’t told Sam or Steve about Isaiah, the former Winter Soldier says it best –– “He’s been through enough.”

Moments after this line was spoken, two police officers rushed at Bucky and Sam. They immediately ask if Sam is bothering Bucky and ask for his ID. The exchange ends with Bucky having an arrest warrant for his arrest. Director of photography PJ Dillon emphasizes the regularity of this type of exchange with a map of the neighborhood, while residents seem baffled by this flagrant abuse of power by the police.

Watching the first two episodes created a feeling I had never felt watching a Marvel project before – loathing and unease. Not with the show itself, but what is portrayed over the course of the two 49-minute episodes. The scene with the police was particularly upsetting as it could have taken a dark turn very quickly and, at that point, even Falcon wouldn’t be able to flee the danger.

Individually, these scenes can be seen as misunderstandings or unrelated errors on the part of responsible whites, but together they illustrate the story of being black in America. The government trusts Sam with high-level military clearance, but not to be the symbolic face of a nation into which whites are cast by the U.S. census as a minority to all other groups combined by 2045.

Marvel has taken television to new frontiers with its Disney + series. If “WandaVision’s” commitment to portraying mental health is any indication, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” will continue to explore racism within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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