NEW ORLEANS — For the past few weeks the city has been buzzing about Hamilton the musical, but on Friday, 2600 students from 41 high schools around the region took their turn on center stage at the Saenger Theatre.
It’s all a part of EduHam, A Hamilton Education Program that allows students to prepare their own songs, raps, and monologues that have to do with American History.
Each performance focuses on Alexander Hamilton and the founding fathers.
“To see the youth of the city get up and show their stuff is just one of the greatest honors, especially because you see how hard these kids have worked,” says Nik Walker, the Hamilton cast member known for his role as Aaron Burr.
Hancock High School’s Malique Johnson wrote and performed his poem, entitled “Promised Freedom,” that had a powerful message on slavery.
“It was something that I wrote out of just anger, but also I had to get a more in depth view. So, you know, I just explored a lot for this,” says Malique.
He says learning more about the history of slavery sharpened his writing skills and mindset.
“If you don’t study history, you are doomed to repeat it. Everybody should know that,” says Malique.
This message along with others that were performed on stage is the exact reason why “EduHam” is a part of Hamilton’s mission as they tour the U.S.
The program stems from The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
“I encourage everyone to just keep telling their stories no matter what doors get shut in their face. Just always find a way to do that and you’ll make this world a better place,” says Nik.
After the performances, the kids got to have a question and answer period with the cast members of Hamilton followed by a matinee performance.
Some of the high schools in attendance includes Destrahan, Edna Karr, Pear River, Plaquemine, St. Augustine, and more.