While President Trump only just started his term in office, Hamilton alumni have already had a lot to say about the presidency. Most notably, Greg Thomas ’85 published an article published an article in the New Republic, “Reading Albert Murray in the Age of Trump.”
Published shortly after the election, Thomas urges the American public to reflect on the past as they progress toward the future: “As a nation we’ve truly come far, though the journey to realizing our democratic ideals remains a difficult road for which we must have the courage and insight to travel, until we reach ‘the promised land.’”
I’ve felt that his concepts regarding American identity, race, as well as his use of blues and jazz as metaphors for life, communication, and cultural excellence, could serve the nation well.
But this is just one piece of his multifaceted article that covers racial theory, political analysis and American identity, among other pertinent issues. He contextualizes the current political landscape in the life and work of Albert Murray, “a quintessential American writer for the twentieth century.” At a time when identity politics has generated significant blowback, calling into question the political strategy of progressives, Thomas provides guidance by pointing to the germane writing of Murray in The Omni-Americans as well as other works.
As a long-time student of Murray’s thought, Thomas expertly weaves Murray’s writing and ideas through the backdrop of Trump’s victory. “I’ve felt that his concepts regarding American identity, race, as well as his use of blues and jazz as metaphors for life, communication, and cultural excellence, could serve the nation well,” he explained. “Trump’s surprise (and to many, shocking) win made the value of Murray’s ideas even more apparent and urgent.”
Thomas has been published in The Guardian, Salon, The Root, UPTOWN and the New York Daily News, which he credits to his time on the Hill. “My liberal arts education at Hamilton is the foundation of my career as a writer, thinker and public speaker. I honed those skills at Hamilton—and will be forever grateful. That’s one reason I’ve volunteered in years past to interview prospective students, and currently serve as the Westchester region alumni president.”
While at Hamilton, Thomas wrote for the Spectator and was a member of the Debate Society, the Black and Latino Student Union and Student Assembly. He hosted a jazz program for three years on WHCL, the College's radio station, and was first alto saxophone chair in the College's Jazz Big Band.