Peace, Love and Captain America – A Southern Souls Story


Above: Christy and Timothy.

Southern Souls is a story-telling series that offers a personal look into the lives of people around us, showing that all souls can relate to one another through our laughter and tears, successes and failures.

“After three or four years of infertility, we started to explore adoption. When we signed our papers, we said we would take up to two children from zero to two years old, any race.”

Christy and her husband, Tripp, a white couple, adopted two white girls, both under the age of 3, before being presented with the opportunity to foster and ultimately adopt Timothy, a newborn, black boy. At the same time, Chrissy and Tripp were pregnant and expecting their first biological child, a girl, in just a few months.

“It’s not like we never thought about it before, but now it’s real. We are white people, raising a black child and we have no idea. Are we really equipped to raise a black child in this country? I remember walking into the DFACS [Department of Family and Children’s Services] office and [the social worker] said, ‘Here’s your mom.’ I took him and he stopped crying. She said, ‘Oh, he knows; he knows you’re his mama.’”

Ultimately, Christy and Tripp adopted Timothy. They tried to create an inclusive environment by doing things like reading books with black characters, written by black authors, to all of their children. But just as many little boys do, Timothy developed a love for mainstream super heroes; guys like Batman, Superman, Spider-man and Captain America. All are one of the “good guys”, but none looked like Timothy.

“Timothy was and is a very sweet boy. He loved super-heroes. He liked Spider-Man at first but we noticed he keeps coming back to Captain America. He really seemed to like Captain America. When ‘The Avengers: Endgame’ came out [my husband and I] wanted to watch it first before we let him watch it, just in case it was too intense. In the movie, Captain America, this old man, stands up and he hands his shield to Falcon and I looked at Tripp, and I was like, ‘Does this mean what I think it means?’ and he’s like, ‘Yeah, there’s gonna be a black Captain America.’ I said, ‘Oh my God!’ I started getting emotional. My husband is kind of a comic book nerd; he knew that was a part of the story but I didn’t know. It means so much. I remember Timothy liked Batman, even though we’re not DC people, and a friend of mine does cosplay. She sent me this link of this guy that she met at one of the Dragon-Con’s or something. His cosplay is Batman. He’s black. I showed it to Timothy and he goes, ‘Man, Batman can’t be black.’ I said, ‘Yes, he can!’ So having that happen and then realizing the change for Captain America, I knew this was going to be huge for my son. I knew how much it means to have that representation. I want Timothy to know he can be anything he wants to be.”

Southern Souls is comprised of actual, in-person interviews conducted by Amyre Makupson. Some statements may not be in chronological order. Names and locations may be changed to respect the privacy of participants. The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Amyre Makupson or The Center for Collaborative Journalism at Mercer University.