In the Hamilton Musical in Pantages Theater you can hear thet: “The country was built by immigrants, always bullied as outsiders and newcomers whatever their skin color”.
Alexander Hamilton was just one more, and his skin color in the show emphasizes that he could be an immigrant today. Miranda says he’s experienced prejudice in his own life as often as any other Latino male growing up in the United States. So often.
Several times, fellow attendees at black-tie events have assumed he was a waiter: Even after In the Heights opened, I was at a thing and a lady waves me over and goes, ‘She never got her salad’.
He also describes the lack of parts for Latino men before he created many parts in In The Heights (Hip-hop and History Blend). As he adds:
I can’t say I have enough experience with Hollywood to feel that I’ve encountered racism there. I can tell you that I did about five fruitless years of auditioning for voiceovers where I did variations on tacos and Latin accents, and my first screen role was as a bellhop on The Sopranos. It was actually an amazing experience. James Gandolfini stayed and did his sides even though he wasn’t onscreen. That’s the mark of the kind of actor Gandolfini was.
I don’t differentiate between black and Latino actors. We’re in the same struggle to be represented in a way that’s even close to honest. And I can tell you that the amount of Latino characters I can point at and say, That’s what my life experience looks like — I can’t think of any off the top of my head besides Jimmy Smits in Mi Familia.
Of course, only some of the country was built by immigrants – a significant amount was built by slaves. While many who tell of the Founding Fathers don’t dwell on the slavery issue, Miranda brings it into the text over and over, starting with the show’s tenth line.