Is daring to posit a black character as the embodiment of patriotism and lawful-goodness in 2014 really an achievement worth taking a victory lap on? Because at the end of the day, what’s Sam Wilson? A ruggedly handsome adult with great references. He can wear the archetype without a lot of alterations. Slim Jimmy and Swae Lee are African-American men aged 19 and 20. This is not a demographic group with a heroic reputation in the popular consciousness; if anything, it’s one that many people learn to fear and distrust on general principles, sometimes with tragic results.
Grantland’s Alex Pappademas takes a deep dive on the latest evolution of Captain America, and it’s unexpected crossover with summer rap sensation Rae Sremmurd
If you’re on alert for examples of the theoretical encroachment upon our freedoms by something people are apparently still calling “political correctness” in 2014, the fact that there’s now a black Captain America — like the presence of a female God of Thunder in the pages of Thor, and a Pakistani American Ms. Marvel in Ms. Marvel, and a Spider-Man who’s half-black and half-Mexican in the alternate-universe title Ultimate Spider-Man, and the casting of Idris Elba as a Norse god in the Thor movies — is hell-in-a-handbasket stuff.
The United States of Captain America: Rae Sremmurd, the Falcon, and the Endless, Necessary Racial Revision of Marvel’s Icons [via Grantland]