The Falcon and the Winter Soldier showrunner Malcolm Spellman discussed in February how the show would draw from real-world influence when confronting the reality of a Black man taking up the mantel of Captain America. This became more prominent when it was rumored and later confirmed that Eli Bradley would be debuting in the series, played by Elijah Richardson.
The history behind the Bradley name in the comics is a painful one that explores how the U.S. Government took advantage of Black men in order to replicate the super-soldier serum given to Steve Rogers.
So, when one fan noticed a particular historical location referenced in the show, it can't be helped but think about the intention behind its inclusion.
BIRTHPLACE OF CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER
Reddit user Internet_Online spotted that the birthplace of Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. appears in the background of the second episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier , “The Star-Spangled Man,” when Bucky Barnes takes Sam Wilson to Baltimore, Maryland to visit Isaiah Bradley.
The home of Martin Luther King Jr. can be seen more clearly in the background during the “Black Falcon” scene between Anthony Mackie and child actor Jecobi Swain.
For reference, the actual historic building, which is located in Atlanta, Georgia, is where production did the majority of the filming for the series.
The house can also be seen shortly after Sam and Bucky leave Bradley's home when Wilson was profiled by police.
The location of Isaiah Bradley's home and the birthplace of the revered civil rights leader were only two streets over from one another.
CONFRONTING STILL RELEVANT HISTORY
Considering the historical context of the scene with Isaiah Bradley, who fought for the U.S Army during the Korean War against Bucky Barnes, only to be cast aside, imprisoned, and further experimented on, the appearance of this building in the background seems especially poignant.
Bradley having tests run on him and people taking his blood while he was in jail for 30 years harkens back to the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study that the U.S. Government illegally conducted on Black men from 1932 to 1972. This is something that has often been seen as an intentional parallel to Bradley's origin in the comics, which may be further explored in the series.
After Bradley yells at the both of them to leave his house, Wilson is insulted that no one told him about Isaiah before being offered the shield by Rogers. Shortly after their argument, Wilson is profiled by local police as an aggressor towards Barnes, despite them having a warrant out for the man's arrest. Barnes assures Sam that Steve had absolutely no knowledge of Bradley's existence, saying that Isaiah “had already been through enough.”
As the series progresses, it will be interesting to see how much American history will actually be explored.