Okay, you have to bear with me with this post. Hamilton is one of those musicals that you see in social media but didn’t really know what the hell was going on. I’ve seen their stills on Tumblr and Twitter and all I was really thinking of what “dang those are some diverse Founding Fathers we have in there”.
While I haven’t been given the amazing blessing of watching Hamilton, I have been listening to their soundtrack at an almost daily basis. Okay, I listen to My Shot as my pre-running song. It’s just a great song y’all check them out on Spotify. There is so much to say about how Hamilton as a whole. From the music, the amazingly diverse cast, the best music I’ve heard in a really long time and just being reintroduced to history in a modern way. But we’re not really here to talk about Alexander Hamilton, we’re here to talk about the women in the musical--the Schuyler Sisters.
A quick lowdown on these ladies: Angelica, Elizabeth and Peggy Schuyler are young aristocratic women during this time, but they aren’t just there for social hour, they are there to see history being made. Elizabeth Schuyler eventually becomes Elizabeth Hamilton, who witness her husband’s contribution to how America was made. I think Hamilton came at such a crucial time in women’s history. If their song is any indication of how these women contributed to history, they weren’t sitting idly by waiting for their men. Just listening to their song alone is not a song of longing, but rather a song demanding that they become part of the conversation. These women wanted to be part of history especially with how America was around that time.
One of my favorite lines in “The Schuyler Sisters” is:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal / And when I meet Thomas Jefferson / I’mma compel him to include women in the sequel / Work!”
Angelica, the sister who sang this line, is a character that I really came to admire. Another song that she sings, “Satisfied” might as well be the anthem for the millennial woman. If Angelica Schuyler were alive today, I think she would be encouraging is to stay hungry, never settle for anything or anyone, especially if they are standing away from your dreams and aspirations. I truly believe that as a society right now, we need to be reminded of the women in the past who had no qualms demanding that their voice be heard during the formative part of American history. It should encourage us to keep fighting for our rights and really using our voices to be heard in this patriarchy of a world.
Another factor that I love about the women in Hamilton is that they truly are representing American right now. Phillippa Soo, who plays Elizabeth is a Chinese-American Broadway actress. The only other Asian American Broadway actress that I knew since childhood was Lea Salonga. Lea is known for her roles in Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, Aladdin and Mulan to name a few. Lea is amazing at her own right and I’m so proud to be a Filipino because of her, but I’m so happy that the younger generation as their own Lea through Philippa’s character Elizabeth.
One of the main reasons why I wanted to make this blog series during Women’s History Month is to emphasize on the importance of representation in the media. Representation matters. Again representation matters.
Hamilton’s Schuyler Sisters represent people of color, to the point that it will encourage younger girls of color to try for the arts because they saw someone do it before them.