BLACK VOICES

Leslie Odom Jr. Dedicates Last 'Hamilton' Show To Gun Violence Victims

"For me, today is for Alton, & his children, & the struggle. For Orlando, & Philando, & the slain officers in Dallas."
Leslie Odom Jr., who won a Tony award for Best Performance in the Broadway musical "Hamilton" last month, dedicated his final
Leslie Odom Jr., who won a Tony award for Best Performance in the Broadway musical "Hamilton" last month, dedicated his final performance Saturday to the recent victims of gun violence.

Leslie Odom Jr. took his final bow as a cast member of the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” Saturday night but not before using his spotlight to encourage “a real and lasting spiritual awakening amongst us.”

The Tony award-winning star dedicated his last performance to the victims of the past months’ gun violence in a series of tweets that included the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.

Odom called out two black men who were shot dead by police last week. Alton Sterling, 37, was killed in Baton Rouge outside a convenience store where he was selling CDs; 32-year-old Philando Castile was fatally shot during a traffic stop in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Their killings have sparked renewed protests and conversations about racial violence, with Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton saying Castile’s skin color played a major part.

Odom also memorialized the five Dallas officers who were killed by a gunman police say was targeting white people in retribution for previous violence. He also mentioned the horrific attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida which took place nearly one month ago and marked the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history.

The Broadway cast of “Hamilton” was famously diverse, with many performers of color portraying white historical figures. The show’s legacy, Odom wrote, will be that it “has set a table for strangers to connect, to have meaningful conversations.”

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