Hamilton’s America

The first time I ever heard of the play “Hamilton” was on the radio. It referred to as this hip-hop version of the story of Alexander Hamilton. Since I am not a fan of hip-hop music I basically disregarded the play. After awhile, I kept hearing how good “Hamilton” was and that is was a Broadway juggernaut that if you sold your first born you still could not tickets. So who was Alexander Hamilton? I agree with my colleague Matt Everett, I knew almost nothing about Alexander Hamilton. After watching Hamilton’s America, I finally who the man really was. He was an American hero, he wrote the Federalist Papers, he and Thomas Jefferson really did not like each other, and he was killed in a duel with Aaron Burr.  These are all facts that we can get from any history book that focuses on the History of the United States. So what is special about that? What is special about Alexander Hamilton was that he was an immigrant from the Caribbean who rose from obscurity to become one of the founding fathers of the United States. Hamilton grew up on the island of St. Croix in middle of the Atlantic Slave Trade. As my colleague Isaias Ortiz expressed in his post, the European appetite for sugar was made possible by African slave labor. With some prolific writing, Hamilton was able to leave the Caribbean for North America where the history of Alexander Hamilton we all know was made. My first impression of Hamilton was shattered after watching the documentary. Lin-Manuel Miranda and his cast put in a great deal of work into making this show a success. I get the impression that Miranda and his cast needed to know everything historically about the people they were portraying on stage and it comes across in their performances. What impressed me about “Hamilton” was the emotional connection you feel about the historical characters. I do not know if it is the skill of the actors that provides that emotion, but “Hamilton” provides more of connection than some dry factual text. Lastly It seemed to me that Lin-Manuel Miranda and his father Luis were spiritually connected to Alexander Hamilton. Luis Miranda was able to leave his home in the Caribbean to seek a new life in New York just like Hamilton. All three of these men did not squander opportunities and made their lives the best they could be and became famous for what they have done.

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