Monday, April 25, 2016

Supplemental Post #6 Lin-Manuel Miranda, Cultural Currency and Puerto Rico

The readings touched on how Carmen Miranda was associated with Brazil and South America, symbolizing "friendly neighbors" as well as doing radio shows with Orson Welles about the foreign, other culture. While these are horribly, white ethnocentric, demeaning, colonialistic it reminded me of someone today who is using their cultural currency and working against anglo-western norms.

Lin-Manuel Miranda. There are many, many things that can be written about this man. He was awarded with the MacArthur Genius grant, a grammy, and just a couple days ago a Pulitzer since Hamilton has come out. Not only did he write a hip-hop musical about a founding father being the ultimate immigrant and American story and changing how the public things of diversity in entertainment, specifically how ANYONE can play white male historical figures, even women ( (, but also helped create a curriculum that coincides with Hamilton for title one schools, which includes getting to see the show for $10 and the best of the best from each school gets to preform for the cast and crew ( He also probably helped keep Hamilton on the $10 bill. Just to name a few things. 

He's doing all of this with his currency and weight in America and he's consciously using it to persuade congress to help Puerto Rico and their desperate need for help with the debt crisis. In March, Miranda went to congress and pleaded with them to help Puerto Rico. In the video, he compares his father immigrating to the United States from Puerto Rico to Hamilton, comparing his Grandfather to a character in It's a Wonderful Life. He consciously is normalizing and un-othering Puerto Rico throughout the speech, which he also does in his rap that happened last night. He pleads with congress to help Puerto Rico, American citizens, even offering Hamilton tickets as an incentive.

However, the bill is still in congress, so last night John Oliver on his show Last Week Tonight l did a special on Puerto Rico and their debt crisis. While showing a clip of Miranda at congress, he also invited him on, where he performed a rap pleading and urging congress and America to help out their own citizens. Oliver also touches on the othering, which all the readings, especially Roberts reading discuss, that Puerto Rico has gone through that has allowed an American territory with American citizens get to this point. 

1 comment:

  1. Supplemental Post #6: Response to Rachel Simone’s Supplemental Post #6 – Lin-Manuel Miranda, Cultural Currency and Puerto Rico

    This is a phenomenal post and about such a hot topic that is going on right now. Well done, Rachel.

    I could talk all day long about how amazing, innovative and inspiring Miranda is, so I will say a little. Out of all of the things that Lin Manuel Miranda has done and is doing (my favorite musical EVER is still In The Heights — I have yet to see Hamilton, you know, ticket problems.), Hamilton has made the largest impact, not only in the theatre world and throughout the entertainment industry, but also in the world of politics. Because of this musical, the media has been introduced to something successful that doesn’t have movie stars/familiar faces in it; because of Hamilton, the media sees that a production filled with people of color can do well and thrive because the United States is not a country that is just black and white — it is a country filled with people of all colors, of all races, of all walks of life and backgrounds and that is beautiful. In fact, many of the people in Hamilton are the very same Broadway stars that originally appeared in Miranda’s In The Heights back in 2010! In fact, yes, Rachel, Miranda is probably the reason that Alexander Hamilton still exists on the ten-dollar bill because Americans forget how our great country was founded — literally on the backs of immigrants by immigrants and for immigrants.

    What is incredible are the strides that he is making as an artist and more importantly, the strides that he is making as a Latino and as a son of “immigrant” parents (I say immigrant because although Puerto Ricans are United States citizens, they are treated like foreigners) as a first generation kid. Lin Manuel Miranda is an incredible human being. No wonder he is now a TIME 100 Honoree.

    How to Survive Your Twenties:


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