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Amanda Gorman Makes History

The 22-year-old spoke at the presidential inauguration on Wednesday.

POSTEDBYMARESE O'HAGAN

If you watched President Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony on Wednesday, you were no doubt struck by the compelling words of writer and performer Amanda Gorman:

“… a time where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president only to find herself reciting for one.”

Titled “The Hill We Climb”, Amanda’s poem embodied Biden’s intent for a unified America. In the wake of the attack on the Capitol Building that left five dead, the message of harmony rang truer than ever: “But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated.”

At just 22 years old, Amanda is the youngest person ever to perform at a presidential inauguration ceremony.

She was named as the Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles in 2014, and was later chosen as the first National Youth Poet Laureate in the United States. Her works focus on themes of feminism, discrimination, and oppression. Amanda is also a published author, having released her collection of poetry The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough in 2015. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden reportedly recommended Amanda for the inaugural speaker role. 

Amanda’s address ended with a poignant declaration of hope for America: “When day comes, we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid. The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”

If reactions to Amanda’s speech are anything to go by, this won’t be the last time we hear about her. Yesterday Hilary Clinton tweeted praise for the young poet, revealing that Amanda had promised that she was going to run for president in 2036.

 


We bet she’s already working on her inaugural address- and with good reason. But for now, Amanda will be “Biden” her time.

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