Thursday, June 11, 2015

They are talking about putting a prominent woman’s image on American Currency. Do we even know about the lives of the people that already have their faces displayed on our money? I would like to discuss the life of one guy. Hamilton who has his image on our 10 dollar bill. There was recently an off-Broadway show called Hamilton that did a rap version of his life. Hamilton’s story can appeal to everyone today because he was a young and scrappy immigrant who did well for himself. We all like feel good stories especially when they happen to be true stories.

Alexander Hamilton was our Revolutionary visionary who on the strength of his writing went from poverty into being one of our most famous founding fathers. He was different in that he was born out of wedlock and was from the Caribbean. He was abandoned by his father and somehow made his way to New York City at the young age of 17.  He was very insecure about his background but he was extremely ambitious and compensated for his bad upbringing with a super confident work ethic. At just 22 years old he managed to serve as General Washington’s aid to camp during the Revolutionary War. At age 34 he became the countries first Secretary of the Treasury.

 He was the one who saw the future for our country in a visionary flash. It was a time when Jefferson and Adams swathe country as an agricultural based place full of small towns. Then this young man from the Caribbean comes forward and sees America as a place that will have banks and a stock exchange, corporations and factories and large cities. Hamilton really was different and turned out to be so important to the growth of America. It is a classic immigrant story that people should know more about. I think he made the most contributions to this country than anyone else in America.  In the musical they sing about how immigrants still get the difficult jobs done.

The girls sound like Destiny’s Child and the male lead raps about assuming a new line of credit and financial dilemmas. If we are aggressive and competitive we will do well. You would rather give the Union a sedative? Hamilton and Jefferson argue about the role of government in a rap set to a good drum beat.  Aaron Burr met Hamilton on the dueling grounds in 1804. Hamilton backed Jefferson over Burr for President in 1800 and Burr never forgave him for his disloyalty to him. Once word spread of Hamilton’s death, he was mourned by the country he helped shape and give birth to.  Then the songs are spiritual and slow with many parts of beautiful harmony.

This musical is as different as Hamilton’s life was then. More people need to know about his life now. They could identify more and accept his family problems and his vision for the future. We need more kids like Hamilton now in this generation to clean up our corrupt Congress and rich vs. poor citizens. You will appreciate to hold your $10 dollar   bill with pride. If you can’t find the musical anywhere, read about Hamilton’s life and be astonished how progressive he was.   

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