After officially donning the Captain America costume, Sam delivers an unprecedented speech where they urge the powerful to knowingly use their power to heal the world.
With Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Marvel Studios looked at two subjects: the socio / geopolitical fallout of the return of half the population and the notion of inheritance. Two subjects that Sam (Anthony Mackie) addresses directly in his speech in episode 6 where he addresses the leaders of the World Repatriation Council.
“Now we can finally make common cause. Think of all those who are begging you, literally begging you, to understand how hard their life is. Now you know it. How did it feel to be helpless? Remember your feeling of helplessness in the face of this force that has wiped out half the planet, and you will understand that you are inflicting the same violence.
You are not there to make easy decisions. I am a black man who wears the starry costume. What am I not understanding? When I put it on, I know millions of people are going to hate me. Even now, here, I can feel it. The looks, the judgments. And there is nothing I can do about it. But I’m still here.
I don’t have a super serum, nor blonde hair, nor blue eyes. The only power I have is believing that we can do better. You can’t ask people to make an effort if you don’t. You control the banks, you draw the borders. You raze a forest with a mail. You feed a million people with one phone call.
But here’s the question: who is with you when you decide? The people who will be affected? Or people like you? We must do better. You have to make an effort. Otherwise you will have another Karli. People believed in her cause so much that they helped her challenge the greatest powers in the world. Why do you think?
You have as much power as a God gone mad or a lost teenage girl. You must be wondering how you are going to use it.“
With this speech, Sam intimate with the powerful to use their power more correctly and to make decisions with the people concerned, knowing the consequences. It is this same notion that separates a tyrant from a superhero. But it can also be seen as a call for unification within the country itself, even as the United States is still divided on the racial question.
Through this, Marvel is taking a stand and seems to be addressing the powers directly. Where Spider-Man’s mantra “great power comes great responsibility” was the personal responsibility of a superhero, Sam makes it clear that true power is what you choose to do with it.
Sam, a symbol in the MCU
And by doing that, the role he plays takes on another dimension. When he agrees to don his Captain America costume and wear the shield, the superhero becomes a symbol both for his country and for African Americans. Sam has the power to inspire people, especially those from minorities, and bring them together.
We can see it when he gives his speech, Joaquin Torres (Danny Ramirez) seems to drink his words. A scene not trivial when we know that in the comics, he takes up the torch to become the new Falcon. The same goes for Eli, who will logically become the Patriot superhero of the Young Avengers. But it is also valid when Sam returns to his family and he is surrounded by the people of his town. In the end, he applied his own mantra to himself: he made an effort and succeeded in his mission.
If Falcon and the Winter Soldier very quickly put the racial question at the center of its story, the series was able to approach the subject with great accuracy – as evidenced by this end of the season and this tribute paid to the black soldiers fallen in forgetting.