On a blustery Sunday afternoon this February, 160 Jones High School students were handed the hottest tickets in town as SunTrust and the Dr. Phillips Center invited them to attend one of the final performances of Hamilton. LIFT Orlando asked one of those students, Nubia Tillman, to share her experience with us and she was kind enough to honor us with her gifts in writing. Take a look at her valuable perspective and see Hamilton through her eyes.
As a student of Jones High School, I was given the opportunity to go with a group of other students to the showing of Hamilton. In case you are unfamiliar with the piece, the show is a play by play of Alexander Hamilton's journey to success and how his life ended at the hands of a former friend then later enemy, Aaron Burr, during a gun duel between the two.
My personal opinion of the show, was that it was beautifully done. The musical aspect was my favorite part because I have always been interested in theater, more specifically musical theater. My favorite song was “Room Where It Happens”, the reason being the instrumental version of the song just gives me chills. Also, it shows the jealousy that most people feel when they aren't apart of the conversations that makes changes. I first hand have experienced that feeling and that jealousy leads to a different type of anger. And in the show the audience can see that change first hand in Aaron Burr, a fascinating aspect to his character throughout the play.
The historical aspect of the play also intrigued me because history has always been my favorite subject. To learn how similar Alexander Hamilton was to people of color is what really shocked me. The main reason for that is because when you talk about American history, it is rare to hear about someone of color, such as Hamilton, do something so important. The historical part also bothered me the most because it made me wonder why this wasn't taught in school. For someone to be so impactful, to not be taught about until recently is hurtful.
Questions came to me after the showing on whether or not it was because racial intentions, but as a student that appreciates history, I felt as if I was lied to because of the lack of information on Hamilton in history textbooks. However, it allowed my generation to understand history and in a way get excited about learning about history. Since the play was hip hop based it really made me also appreciate the craft of hip hop and how it could relate two completely different subjects and make it easy to digest.
As a young African American female, who aspires to write, I see myself in Hamilton, just for the fact of when he would encounter issues, his only way out was through writing and I am like that. The play also gave me motivation to do more with my life knowing that I am about to graduate high school and become an actual adult. Since Hamilton, like a lot of students in Jones and majority of high schools, come from difficult backgrounds, it made me think if he could make something out of himself, then so can I. I can easily say that this is an experience that I will never forget, not only for the purpose of just see a play in person, but also the long lasting impression Hamilton has left on me to not “waste my shot”.
About The Writer:
My name is Nubia Tillman and I am 18 years old. Currently I attend Jones High school and I am in the 12th grade, along with being in the IB program. I plan to attend Clark Atlanta University and major in Mass Media and Communications. Something that interests me is astrology, meditation, and how those two things can help understanding a person.