Communication and Sexual Behavior BIPOC Research Paper

Student’s Name

Professors Name

Course Number.


BIPOC Research Paper

Broadway’s Richard Rodgers Theatre hosted the world premiere of Hamilton, an American musical about Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton (Herrera, 12). Most reviewers and audiences agree that Hamilton is one of the finest musicals ever made. It was also praised for its non-white cast, well-crafted lyrics, unequaled originality, and timely topical poetry. Being African-American, Hispanic, or Latinx draws media attention to both the performers and the production. Because of this fixation, many journalists and commentators created broad cultural generalizations (Quiñónez, 44). Hamilton sparked a national debate about race. A post-racial narrative linked with President Barack Obama’s re-election is reinforced by many. Regardless of these reasons, the post-racial America fiction is just that: a dream that modern Hamilton scholarship ignores. This paper shall counter the argument that Hamilton depicts a post-racial society by analyzing reviews, literature, and music from the performance hoping to shed light on why Americans continue to pursue the post-racial narrative, the impact of minority representation in art on larger political discourses, and the importance of inspiring future “Hamiltons” in contemporary American culture through Hamilton: An American Musical and contemporary research.

In America, where white talent has always been portrayed in cinema, television, theater, and other forms of media, this is a novel concept. Musicals like Anything Goes contain racial implications as well. This was true for a substantial proportion of Americans until recently. Despite the fact that Broadway has been called “The Great White Way” without reference to race, scholars have given it a second connotation owing to its high cost. Because only the wealthy can afford the expensive world of theatre, the second interpretation immediately defines Broadway as a white leisure pastime. In the United States, white people have the most direct and indirect access to that level of wealth. This historical trend has persisted until the current day. Caucasians bought 77 percent of all tickets sold in 2015–2016, according to the Broadway League.

According to Lin-Manuel Miranda, the musical’s creator and writer, Hamilton is the tale of America then, as recounted by America now. Lin-Manuel Miranda used non-white performers in white parts on purpose, so non-white actors portray white people in Hamilton. African-American performers Daveed Diggs, Christopher Jackson, and Leslie Odom Jr. played Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Aaron Burr, the Marquis de Lafayette. Miranda played Alexander Hamilton, while Ramos played John Laurens and Phillip Hamilton. Both Miranda and Ramos are of Puerto Rican heritage. Hamilton’s earlier productions, including those on Broadway, have employed a non-white casting technique. Despite significant outrage following a casting call for “non-white performers,” Hamilton producers declared they would continue to cast the production with the same ethnic diversity that had employed up to that point.

Minority portrayals add to Hamilton’s massive popularity. Diggs and many others depend on rap, or “the voice of [his] generation and people of color,” as the show’s dominant musical style (Mead, 23). Diggs, an African-American, understands the importance of these images in the lives of ethnic minorities. It is vital for people of color to claim and identify with a tale that they were previously excluded from, since this produces a more inclusive narrative for everyone. However, as per the arguments, the past is crucial and may influence how people of color perceive historical tales like Hamilton’s.

While Hamilton’s efforts to hire non-white individuals are commendable, the program as a whole has flaws. In my perspective, Hamilton’s portrayal of American history was typical whitewashed history. Hamilton’s characters are entirely white, despite the reality that the bulk of the cast members are black. Research portrays Hamilton’s advantages as a white man deepen this difference. In the documentary Hamilton’s America, Miranda claims that Hamilton can “write his way out of his circumstance.” His song “Hurricane” has him sending a letter about the storm that destroyed his Caribbean house and convincing community members to donate money to let him study in the North American colonies. Throughout the Revolutionary War, George Washington wrote love letters to Eliza as well as the Federalist Writings, legislation, and other papers explaining his financial and banking goals for America.

The capacity to “write his way out” was, in my opinion, a combination of privilege and chance. Many individuals, both then and today, do not benefit from rapid acknowledgement of their ability. This is not to denigrate Hamilton’s subsequent efforts or accomplishments. However, research contend that Hamilton benefited from both the late-eighteenth-century and contemporary white privilege regimes. Racial, social, and other political and cultural barriers may prohibit Hamilton from achieving professional success in a broad range of fields, including politics. People of color encounter challenges in their personal, professional, and political lives. The persistence of these obstructions undermines the post-racial concept that barriers to people of color have been removed.

But white privilege isn’t the only distinction between white and black life. Hamilton avoids many awful difficulties. The drama portrays Hamilton as an enthusiastic abolitionist, which is false. In “Cabinet War #1,” a rap battle between Hamilton and Jefferson, Hamilton proposes allowing the federal government to buy state debts. “Hello neighbor, here’s a civics lesson from a slaver,” the slaver says (Miranda, 44). This is how John Laurens explains his new position in the American Revolution: We publish anti-slavery articles and every day is a test of our friendship and fortitude. (Miranda, 44). In these songs, Hamilton is portrayed as a staunch anti-slavery activist, which he was not (Scherr, 34). Slavery was a political and personal concern for Hamilton, as shown by his personal documents, which reveal slaves were purchased and exchanged (Scherr, 26). Hamilton’s desire to climb the social ladder overshadowed his fervor for abolition, according to Michelle DuRoss, a lecturer at the University of Albany (“Somewhere in Between”). According to her, he was able to fit into the opulent slaveholding milieu he desired by marrying into the aristocratic Schuyler family.

Slavery is exaggerated by both Hamilton and Aaron Burr, his political opponent and main nemesis (Scherr, 47). In “The Chamber Where It Happens,” Burr conveys his wrath and desire to be in the “great old room” with Madison, Hamilton, and Jefferson. “Only the two Virginians and the foreigner were in the room,” Burr adds. To be fair, Slaves did serve and prepare the meal in “The Room Where It Happened,” which Jefferson hosted. Slave-talking characters are removed from the musical’s historical tale. Slavery was abolished by Hamilton, confirming the Anglo-centric history taught in public schools. The absence of color characters in Hamilton perpetuates the myth that people of color have no stories to tell, no part in American history, and no place in today’s society (Scherr).

In a harsh political climate, Hamilton’s immigrant status is frequently cited, empowering immigrants. Hamilton went to America to study. Born in Saint Kitts, in the West Indies. For Miranda, “Hamilton’s America” means “working twice as hard to go half as far”. “Immigrants / We get the job done,” says Hamilton and the Marquis de Lafayette in the musical’s most iconic moment. According to Emory University sociology professor Frank Lechner, Hamilton shows that even immigrants may achieve the American Dream, counteracting current anti-immigration and anti-Latino propaganda.

Miranda’s depiction of Hamilton’s immigration experience is uplifting for Latinos. In her Hamilton review, Ariana Quiónez remarked, “With a Latino actor portraying an immigrant on Broadway.” Until Hamilton, she had never pictured herself in a Broadway musical or identified with American history in the way that many minorities do. Patricia Herrera investigated how Hispanic and Latinx pupils are impacted by representation. Witnessing Hamilton and Miranda’s initial musical, In the Heights, was highly crucial for an African and Hispanic-American student and their family since it was the first time, they saw themselves depicted on stage (“Hamilton, Democracy”). Such encouraging replies feed the post-racial narrative. However, the portrayal of white people vs black people is unequal.

The musical’s depiction of people of color went beyond Broadway. The appearance of Vice President Mike Pence at the musical was remarkable (Mele and Healy, 24). Brandon Victor Dixon, who portrayed Aaron Burr that night, sent Pence a note from the cast, expressing concern about Trump’s leadership (Mele and Healy, 26). On social media, many Trump fans, including Trump himself, criticized the ensemble for making a statement after Trump’s triumph. The performers stressed their issues as persons of race, which drew much criticism (Mele and Healy, 27). Characters like Hamilton’s would not exist in a post-racial society, much alone face racist public criticism.

Broadway is no longer indicative of the “diverse America” of 2015 and 2016. In the next two years, Titanic and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will have all-white casts on Broadway. Miranda referred to the 2015–2016 Broadway season’s diversity as a “accident of time” (Seymour, 50). Despite the success of people of color on Broadway, it will be known as “The Great White Way” for the time being. Despite apparent success in the entertainment industry for minorities in 2016, there was no visible movement in minority representation and appreciation in the media in 2016. More over 95% of Tony Award nominees are Caucasian, which is somewhat less than the total number of Oscar nominations (Seymour). Only a few new musicals, television shows, and films have a significant minority cast (Hallemann, 45). Racial barriers have not vanished, but they are developing and being analyzed more rigorously than in the past.

Hamilton, like minorities in art, stood out in the media when contrasted to other works of visual art. The media industry as a whole is used to “othering” movies, theater, art, and other visual works that include a substantial proportion of minorities. Art that is deemed “diverse” or “pioneering for minorities,” such as Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, is sometimes lauded exclusively for that distinction. Michel Foucault, a French philosopher, defines this idea of “other.” Hamilton has become a post-racial media symbol as a result of Foucault’s thesis.

Minority art is a term that is often used. According to writer Erica Hunt, although most people do not identify art with the artist’s race when the artist is white, this is not the case when the artist is non-white. Miranda, a Puerto Rican, wrote Hamilton to reflect the cultural diversity he encountered growing up as a Latino. Miranda, his non-white co-stars, and the show as a whole were labeled “diverse.” Hamilton’s “otherness” adds to the “diversity” of the show. While neither harsh nor pejorative, this term indicates why Hamilton is not representative of a post-racial America. Such a phrase does not exist in a post-racial society. Today’s “diversity” is seen as normal, rather than deviant. A post-racial society would, in theory, dismiss the word “diversity” as redundant.

With its exceptional racial representation and controversial re-telling of American history, Hamilton emphasizes the necessity of diversity on Broadway and in American culture (Quiñónez, 68). It is vital to include individuals of color in historical tales, as the musical shows. The musical’s paradoxes and obstacles, as well as the public’s view, cast doubt on the idea that Hamilton represents post-racial accomplishment. Irrespective of its critical and economic success, the argument that Hamilton depicts the US resolving racial tensions is definitely wrong.  A post-racial America does not mean that all injustices and structural barriers are gone for people of color. The necessity for additional “Hamilton’s” and the need of sharing people of color’s tales alongside the Founding Fathers’ stories is highlighted in Hamilton (Walsh). Hamilton is a notable historical landmark along the way, but the goal is yet unknown.

Works Cited

Hallemann, Caroline. “How the Cast of ‘Hamilton’ Made Giving Back Their Mission.” Town & Country, 8 June 2016,

Herrera, Patricia. “Hamilton: An American Musical by Lin Manuel-Miranda.” Theatre Journal, vol. 73, no. 1, 2021, pp. 83–85,

Mele, Christopher, and Patrick Healy. “‘Hamilton’ Had Some Unscripted Lines for Pence. Trump Wasn’t Happy.” The New York Times, 19 Nov. 2016,

PBS. “Hamilton’s America ~ about the Documentary | Great Performances | PBS.” Great Performances, 7 June 2016,

Quiñónez, Ariana. “The Cultural Significance of ‘Hamilton’s Diverse Cast.” Hypable, 10 Oct. 2015,

Scherr, Arthur. “Alexander Hamilton and Slavery: A Closer Look at the Founder.” The Historian, vol. 83, no. 2, Apr. 2021, pp. 130–70,

Seymour, Lee. “The Tonys Are Just as White as the Oscars – Here Are the #TonysSoWhite Statistics.” Forbes, 4 Apr. 2016,

Walsh, Shannon. “Hamilton: An American Musical Dir. By Thomas Kail.” Theatre Journal, vol. 68, no. 3, 2016, pp. 457–59,