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    How "Falcon And The Winter Soldier" Approached Marvel's Long-Standing Issues With Black Culture

    The MCU is moving in the right direction.

    The MCU is becoming a very diverse place. Somewhere in Phase 3, Marvel decided to step up the inclusion.

    It was great to see the MCU show stories of Black wealth and power. However, some more grounded stories would be amazing. Yes, King T'Challa was a triumph for Marvel, but there were still some problematic pieces hanging around the MCU.

    For example, before Black Panther, Black men were relegated to the sidekick roll time and time again.

    why the hell hasn’t War Machine been given a MCU show or film, just look at the beauty

    Twitter: @movieflicUg

    Iron Man has War Machine. Captain America has Falcon. Thor has Heimdall. Of course there was Nick Fury (who put together the whole team), but he was always more of a supporting character than a leading man.

    Black Panther did wonders for diversity and shattering stereotypes. However, one movie in a chain of more than 20 is a small victory. There are many more stories and experiences in the Black community that need to be explored.

    Nobody is blaming the MCU entirely — after all, the movies follow the comics in several respects. If there was a lack of diversity in leading roles, the same could be said for the comics.

    My cover for the Mighty Marvel Masterworks Avengers Vol 1. Always fun to draw classic Iron Man and Cap.

    Twitter: @Michael_Cho

    Kevin Feige maneuvered through the first three phases of the MCU by sticking close enough to the source material to appease longtime fans while being creative enough to push new boundaries. The "Original Six" may have been almost all white men, but the MCU is moving into a more diverse future. And one that tells the RIGHT stories.

    Much as the comics did in the early 2000s and the decade following it, the MCU will be switching things up. We know Jane Foster's Thor is coming, Shang-Chi will shine a light on Eastern culture, and more women (WandaVision, Black Widow, She Hulk, Ms Marvel) are getting leading roles too.

    we are getting Captain America 4 lol what a time to be alive

    Twitter: @BrandonDavisBD

    Which is why it was amazing to see Falcon and the Winter Soldier address some of the historic issues the MCU and, by extension, the comic books had with tackling Black stories and culture. Not only did the series break down some stereotypes, but it also worked to bring to light some REAL Black struggles and stories. Don't get me wrong — Wakanda is DOPE. But they aren't dealing with police brutality, discriminatory lending, and institutionalized racism.

    Although the list may not be extensive, these are all the ways Marvel's latest series helped to elevate the right stories and break down old stereotypes.

    1. The Black Sidekick

    Lemar Hoskins is no sidekick

    2. The Black Veteran

    Isaiah Bradley is a man with no love for the government

    3. The Black Financial Experience

    Sam Wilson tries to get a loan

    4. The Black Warrior

    no let’s talk about this because in his own way sam cared about karli and wanted to protect her from herself and i think she knew that when she apologized to him as she died in his arms

    Twitter: @tonishalifoe

    Black Panther is a king. War Machine is literally named after weapons and destruction. Heimdall is a demigod. We have Black warriors peppered around the MCU, but Black men are more than warriors.

    In the scene where Sam, as Captain America, refuses to fight Karli, we see a compassionate and caring man. Even before that, when Sam tries to reason with her, we see a softer, more sensitive hero. It's important that the MCU highlights these types of stories and emotions in the Black community. It's dope that we've got kings and war machines to tear shit down. But there are so many facets to and examples of what Black men can do, it was amazing to see the MCU put Sam on a pedestal for his heart and not his muscles or power.

    5. A Black Captain America

    What makes Sam Wilson, a complete perfect successor to Steve Rogers Captain America. He's a good man with a good heart, he knows that as a Black man carrying the shield some people will look at him stare & judge him for it & might not be accepted but he doesn't care. Continued➡️

    Twitter: @Marvel_Fan91

    The MCU could have just handed the shield to Sam Wilson and made him Captain America offscreen. He could have just popped up in his armor in some MCU debut later down the line, and nobody would have really thought it was weird. However, Feige decided that a story needed to be told about becoming Captain America.

    This series could have avoided race. They could have just had Sam fighting the Flag Smashers and left it at that. But it was very important to dissect what it meant to be a Black Captain America. It was the crux of Sam's decision not to take the shield in the first place.

    Bucky's acknowledgment that neither he nor Steve could have imagined what it was like for a Black man to wield the shield was a powerful moment. Even Isaiah Bradley's scornful speech about Captain America really resonated. It was essential that the MCU address Sam becoming Cap rather than just thrusting him into the suit because his journey would be much different from, let's say... John Walker's.

    6. The Black Community

    Sam Wilson helps fix the family boat

    7. The Black Disconnect

    Love that line from Sarah Wilson. “My world doesn’t matter so why should I care about their mascot?” #sam wilson #sarahwilson #FalconAndWinterSoldier #Marvel @falconandwinter

    Twitter: @J_J_Martin_

    Both Sam and his sister Sarah had some compassion (or at least understanding) when it came to the Flag Smashers. When Karli gets Sarah on the phone, the latter pointedly states that she isn't impressed with John Walker (or her country, for that matter). Sam makes a similar statement in his major speech in the final episode. He understands what it's like to feel unwanted in a place you thought was home. He understands the sentiment of being ignored or even unwanted by the institutions that control everything. It's a feeling that resonates with many minorities.

    The Flag Smashers' cause connected with Sam and his sister because the struggle was all too familiar. It was clever of the MCU to address the struggle of feeling displaced by the institutions that are in control without making it purely about race. In that way, they drew a wider connection that hopefully more people can relate to.

    8. The Black "Suspect"

    Sam Wilson surrounded by police officers