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Leslie Odom Jr. speaks out on Alton Sterling, Philando Castile deaths

‘Healing is on the other side of some very difficult conversations’

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In the wake of the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, Hamilton‘s Leslie Odom Jr. believes that “there are hard conversations coming.”

In a series of tweets on Thursday, Odom Jr., whose Tony-winning run as Aaron Burr concludes on July 9, expresses both outrage and hope. “Hundreds of years. In America,” he writes. “This has been happening for HUNDREDS of years. Cell phones just make it harder to ignore.”

Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was fatally shot by police outside a Louisiana convenience store early Tuesday in an encounter that was partially captured on video. Less than 48 hours later, police fatally shot Castile, a 32-year-old black man, during a routine traffic stop Wednesday evening. Castile’s girlfriend live-streamed the aftermath on Facebook.

Odom Jr. writes that “healing is on the other side of some very difficult conversations,” but the Hamilton star also expresses the determination to carry on, tweeting, “I am above ground today. Terrorism, domestic or otherwise, has not yet murdered me today. So I will live. I will live free.”

“I will make art,” Odom Jr. concludes. “A life with love at it’s [sic] center is radical protest in the face of evil.”