Minoritieswhether it be through film theatre

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minorities––whether it be through film, theatre, paintings, or other forms of visual media––becomes inherently “othered” 3 by media at large. Once a merited piece of art, like Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton , is labeled as “diverse” or “groundbreaking for minorities,” that piece is often praised heavily for that label alone. French philosopher Michel Foucault theorizes that any label exclusively used to describe something that deviates from a social norm immediately enters this category of “other” (41). Foucault’s theory clearly explains why Hamilton has become a post-racial paragon in American media culture today. Art created by minorities is often labeled as such. Essayist Erica Hunt asserts that most people have never identified a piece of art by the artist’s race if the artist is white, but that reality is much different for non-white artists (171). Miranda, a Puerto-Rican man, created Hamilton as a piece of art meant to showcase the racial diversity he grew up with from his own personal experience as a Latino. Therefore, Miranda, his fellow non-white performers, and the show itself fit what the media labels “diverse.” Hamilton’s “otherness” means that Hamilton cannot stand without its status as a “diverse” show. Though that label is not necessarily malicious or bad, that label proves why Hamilton is not indicative of an American post-racial society. In a post-racial society, such a label would not exist. The “diversity” praised today would be considered normal, not “other.” In theory, a post- racial society would not acknowledge “diversity” at all, as the “diversity” label would not be necessary. Overall, the discrepancies between Hamilton ’s unparalleled achievements as a positive, inclusive racial representation and its problematic regurgitation of whitewashed American history shed light on the importance of diversity on Broadway and in American media as a whole. The musical exemplifies the importance of racial representation for people of color who often find themselves excluded from historical narratives. But the disparities and issues within both the content and casting of the musical, as well as the public’s perception of it, defy beliefs that Hamilton is the paragon of post-racial achievement. Despite its accolades and success, much of which is well deserved, to say that Hamilton symbolizes the United States’ alleged overcoming of racial tension is undoubtedly false. Statements about Hamilton ’s reflection of a post-racial America diminish the experiences, injustices, and systemic issues that people of color continue to face today. Beyond feeding into the post-racial myth, Hamilton is an example of how more “Hamiltons should exist, and that the stories of people of color deserve to be told just as much as the stories of America’s Founding Fathers. The history of all people must be shared if the United States ever wants to achieve the post-racial society many have dreamt of, and though Hamilton is a historic stepping-stone on that journey, the end goal has yet to be achieved.
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