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“Race-Conscious Casting and the Erasure of the Black Past in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton” responses

It’s not “just a musical”

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TPH_38_1_Covers low rez-1In the four months since my review of Hamilton: An American Musical was first published in The Public Historian, my ideas have been met with a wide variety of reactions.

This blog published four responses to the piece, including one by Annette Gordon-Reed, who wrote that my review was an expression of “our duty to use what we know of history and culture to comment” on artistic explorations of the past. Read More

Hamilton: The Musical: Blacks and the founding fathers

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Daveed Diggs as Thomas Jefferson and the ensemble of Hamilton. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Daveed Diggs as Thomas Jefferson and the ensemble of Hamilton. Photo by Joan Marcus.

This past August, I went with a group of historians to see the much acclaimed, and now Grammy-winning, musical, Hamilton. Our timing was just right. The ticket prices were reasonable (for the Great White Way), costing nowhere near the astronomical sums people pay now. Read More

History and performance: Hamilton: An American Musical

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As Alexander Hamilton’s wife, Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, actress Phillipa Soo (left) dances alongside Schuyler’s sisters Angelica (Renée Elise Goldsberry, center) and Peggy ( Jasmine Cephas Jones, right). Photo credit: Joan Marcus.

As Alexander Hamilton’s wife, Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, actress Phillipa Soo (left) dances alongside Schuyler’s sisters Angelica (Renée Elise Goldsberry, center) and Peggy (Jasmine Cephas Jones, right). Photo credit: Joan Marcus

Public historians have spent a good deal of time looking at how history is performed in museums and living history sites, in reenactments, and on film and television. Read More

A color-blind Stockholm syndrome

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"George Washington as Framer at Mount Vernon," 1851, part of a series on George Washington by Junius Brutus Stearns. Located at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

“George Washington as Farmer at Mount Vernon,” 1851, part of a series on George Washington by Junius Brutus Stearns. Located at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

The American narrative, like any cultural narrative, consists of stories that structure and assign meaning to the nation’s origin, history, and existence. Read More

Who tells your story?

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President Obama greets the cast and crew of "Hamilton" after seeing the musical with his daughters, July 2105. Credit: Executive Office of the President of the United States.

President Obama greets the cast and crew of “Hamilton” after seeing the musical with his daughters, July 2015.  Photo credit: Executive Office of the President of the United States

Lyra Monteiro is certainly right, when she notes in her review of Hamilton: An American Musical, that mainstream American culture has a lamentable tendency to embrace and retell certain stories about American history, including that of the founders, with greater frequency and enthusiasm than the many other stories that require more difficult reckonings with the past. Read More