If you have not already seen Hamilton, the spectacular Broadway musical now movie streaming on the Disney Channel, you have missed a revolutionary film in more ways than one.
Unquestionably this fascinating story of the American Revolution has resonated unlike any show you have ever seen discussing in song issues relevant today as they were in 1776 — freedom, equality, the dream of democracy and justice for all.
Most vividly, Hamilton presented a new perspective of the America dream both literally with a diverse cast of actors of color portraying the Founding Fathers and figuratively as we now witness the changing demographics in 21st century America where Blacks and women, once disenfranchised in 1776, have become two of our nation’s most powerful voting groups.
Writer/actor Lin Manuel Miranda who portrayed Alexander Hamilton, a Founding Father and an aide-de-camp to General Washington at age 23, wrote a challenging song in the play, “My Shot”, to encourage fellow colonists to stand up for their rights:
When you’re living on your knees, you rise up.
Tell your brother that he’s gotta rise up.
Tell your sister that she’s gotta rise up.
When are these colonies gonna rise up?
This verse today has become a rallying cry for many people as it should be with chiropractors, too. Hamilton has connected past failed hopes with the continued struggles for equality as we now witness in the street demonstrations of protesters exercising their First Amendment rights. As Rep. John Lewis might have said, they are there “to make good trouble.”
My takeaway from this fascinating musical included not only the successes, but the many disappointments from the unfulfilled “truths” and “unalienable Rights” in the Preamble of the Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Imagine the disappointment being a freedom fighter inspired by the Declaration of Independence, fighting for the revolution against King George’s Red Coats, risking your life and jeopardizing your family fortune, only to realize the same Rights might later exclude you because of your race, meager financial status, or gender. Imagine the total frustration when your American dream went south.
These unfulfilled “unalienable Rights” in the Declaration remain, in effect, an “unrequited love” for many people.