MCU Actor Anthony Mackie Talks Teaching His Kids About Activism

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is full of superheroes. Many of the actors and actresses who portray these characters are heroes in real life.

Anthony Mackie, known to fans of the MCU as Falcon, is one of these everyday heroes. Mackie strives to help the people of his community through local programs and charities. Recently, he began a nationwide campaign to inspire people to vote.

He’s also busy raising four sons to follow in his awesome footsteps. 

Who is Anthony Mackie? 

Anthony Mackie on the red carpet
Anthony Mackie | Marilla Sicilia/Archivio Marilla Sicilia/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

Mackie was born in New Orleans on September 23, 1978. His parents, Martha and Willie, owned a roofing business. The incredibly talented star didn’t always have dreams of acting. In fact, before turning to acting, he attended a trade school and planned to become an oil-refinery engineer. 

Eventually, Mackie switched gears and began to pursue acting. He attended the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, then moved on to the illustrious Juilliard to finish his studies. While at Juilliard, Mackie often honed his skills in the subway, per TV Guide, performing songs and poems for busy travelers. 

In 2002, Mackie graced the big-screen with a fantastic performance as Eminem’s bitter rival in the film 8 Mile. In 2003, he danced his way onto Broadway in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Since his debut performances, the actor has appeared in several films and Broadway plays. His most famous role, however, came along when he joined the MCU as the former U.S. Air Force soldier, Sam Wilson–a.k.a. Falcon. 

In 2014, Mackie made his first appearance as Falcon in the film Captain America: Winter Soldier. From his awesome titanium wings to the inspiring advice he consistently provides to the rest of the Avengers, Falcon is a fantastic superhero. Mackie went on to bring the character to life in Ant-Man, Civil War, Age of Ultron, and Endgame. Fans enjoyed a historic moment in Endgame, when Mackie’s character was handed the iconic shield of Captain America. 

Mackie has a passion for helping his community

Mackie and his character, Falcon, have something very important in common. They are both compassionate individuals who strive to help those in need in their communities. In the films, Falcon runs a support group for veterans suffering from PTSD. In real life, Mackie is involved in numerous community organizations. 

Recently, Mackie created a fund to help grocery store workers pay their utility bills — The United for Grocery Workers Relief Fund.

Mackie worked with United Way of Southeast Louisiana, the New Orleans Council on Aging, and Entergy New Orleans to raise money and foster appreciation for the underpaid grocery store workers who put their lives on the line to serve citizens during the ongoing pandemic. The fund provides the workers with a $150 credit toward their energy bill with Entergy New Orleans. 

Mackie also has a passion for activism, and he is doing whatever he can to inspire other Black men to vote in the next election.

He has launched the “I am a Man” campaign, according to Fatherly, with the goal of registering 1,000,000 men to vote. Mackie encourages everyone to visit the website to help friends, sons, nephews, and brothers register to vote. The group is also active across all social networks. 

RELATED: Anthony Mackie Describes the Moment He Knew He’d ‘Made It’ as an Actor

Mackie is teaching his kids to follow in his footsteps

In addition to being an incredible humanitarian, Mackie is an extraordinary father. He has four sons with his ex-wife, Sheletta Chapital. Although the couple is now separated, they were childhood sweethearts. 

Mackie credits his children as his inspiration to make the world a better place. He wants his sons to be active in their communities, both now and as adults. He stresses the importance of being all-inclusive and welcoming toward people of all backgrounds.

In a recent interview with Fatherly, the actor explains how he gets his kids excited about voting. “I tell them we the people have all the power. We’re the ones who change what we want our society to be.” He also talks about how he is stern with his boys, but treats them with respect. 

Mackie mentions that his favorite part of fatherhood is witnessing the relationship his sons have with each other. He loves to see their different personalities develop, and he is proud to see them growing into good, caring people.