“America, you great unfinished symphony, you sent for me!”
Echoing one of the most compelling lines in “Hamilton,” the hit Broadway production in which he stars as George Washington, Bryan Terrell Clark told a group of Furman students the United States of America is a “beautiful song that is still being written. We can be whatever we want to be, but what do we want it to be?”
Clark is more than an actor – few people in his profession or any other speak as eloquently or with as much passion and moral clarity as Clark on issues of race, inclusion and equity. He covered all those bases and more during a Cultural Life Program in March that students attended via Zoom.
From its hip-hop score to its casting of actors of color to play the roles of some of our nation’s most consequential historical figures, “Hamilton” has been held up as an example of diversity and inclusion at its best, signaling to some through its colorblind casting that America’s racial healing is in full bloom. The full picture, of course, is much more complicated, as Clark pointed out.
There is a difference between diversity and inclusion, and true equity, Clark said. Clark – a Black actor who plays the role of the country’s first president – said he has loved starring in Hamilton. At the same time, Clark said, the optics of Hamilton’s cast must not obscure the fact that behind the scenes of the production, progress toward racial