Teachers and teens will lead an interactive discussion (with music, video and lyrics) about why the School Library Journal calls “Hamilton” a “darn near perfect” teaching tool for history” and how rap, hip hop, spoken word poetry and other popular genres can newly engage young people (and the rest of us) in learning about historical events.
The radiating effects of “Hamilton,” the musical, are wide-ranging. The rap/hip hop lyrics have drawn young people to the story of Alexander Hamilton and the birth of a nation. The musical has made a bestseller (again) of Ron Chernow’s biography of Hamilton. Poetry-lovers are finding even more space for rap and hip hop in the narrative canon. And Lin Manuel Miranda has been launched into stardom, including a 2015 MacArthur Foundation Award and a 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Drama.
“Hamilton” also is changing the way we understand history. “The primarily black and Hispanic cast reminds audiences that American history is not just the history of white people, and frequent allusions to slavery serve as constant reminders that just as the revolutionaries were fighting for their freedom, slaves were held in bondage” (The Atlantic, 2015). The musical also emphasizes the significant role that immigrants have played in the nation’s history.
This event is free and open to the public and will be facilitated by teens from Albuquerque High, teens and teachers from Bosque School, and the NHCC’s Valerie Martínez.