The day we have been waiting four long years has finally arrived, and a young Black queen put the exclamation point on it.
The world woke up bright and early to watch Donald Trump cowardly fly off to Florida, closing the chapter on the American carnage he invoked at his inauguration four years ago. Once that was out of the way, it was time to usher in a new chapter for America, and that is exactly what happened.
Michelle Obama and her slay did not come to play and stole the show for a moment. But then 22-year-old Amanda Gorman, in her glowing Black skin, beautiful braids, bright smile, and bright yellow trench coat, added to historic day by becoming the youngest inaugural poet and helped set the tone for a new America with her poem.
So, exactly who is Amanda Gorman, and how did she earn the honor to have her name live in forever history with others like the late Maya Angelou and Elizabeth Alexander? Gorman, a Los Angeles native, the daughter of a school teacher, has been writing poetry since she was 4 or 5, she revealed to NPR. Like President Joe Biden, Gorman was born with a speech impediment and had issues pronouncing certain words and would stutter, so she used that to fuel her passion for poetry.
By the age of 14, she joined the LA-based nonprofit, WriteGirl that helps young Black teen girls embrace the power of their voice through creative writing. By the age of 16, she earned the title of National Youth Poet Laureate. She caught the new First Lady Dr. Jill Biden’s eye and ear when she saw Gorman reading at the Library of Congress and was invited to read something at the inauguration.
CNBC reports that Gorman began writing her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” which fits with the inauguration’s theme of “unity” for the past weeks by adding a line few lines a day and finally completing it late night Jan. 6, following the bootleg saltine-fueled coup that saw Pro-Trump traitors storm the U.S. Capitol Building.
Gorman confidently stepped to that podium following some big names like Lady Gaga, J.Lo, and the president himself, and left the country amazed, proud, and with tears in their eyes after she read her six-minute poem that she promised the New York Times “would not “gloss over” the difficulties the country has faced in the past few years, as well as the “harsh truths” that America has yet to reckon with, but will also emphasize collective healing, touching on the inauguration’s theme of “America United.”
During the ceremony, she confidently read:
“We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it,
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.
And this effort very nearly succeeded.
But while democracy can be periodically delayed,
It can never be permanently defeated
In this truth, in this faith we trust.
For while we have our eyes on the future,
History has its eyes on us.”
No lies detected.
Dr. Jill Biden has officially been the First Lady of the United States for only a day. Still, she is already making sound decisions, especially by choosing Amanda Gorman to deliver a message for the country to follow for the next four years. You can watch Gorman read “The Hill We Climb” in its entirety below.
Photo: Alex Wong / Getty