America’s New Star: Amanda Gorman

The story behind Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb” and how she broke records as the youngest Inaugural poet ever.

Americas New Star: Amanda Gorman

Caroline Pugsley, Copy Editor

January 20th, 2021, was a day that many Americans had dreamed of for so long, but feared would never come. President Biden was sworn into office and, for many, it finally felt as if America had a leader who would work with compassion and empathy. Many felt relieved and excited for a revolution that would bring effective change.

Biden’s speech was hopeful, addressing issues that have been apart of America since the beginning, but only now are actually being recognized. The issues addressed included systemic racism and domestic terrorism. Biden had many significant lines, one of which being, “Now is the time for boldness, for there is so much to do.”  However, Biden’s speech and words were arguably outshined by America’s newfound voice of empowerment, Amanda Gorman.

As a young Black woman, Gorman shared her hopes for America and the realities of the issues we face. As the youngest Inaugural poet ever, she revealed she was impacted by the recent events of the U.S capitol and wrote her poem.

In an interview with Anderson Cooper, she shared her process for writing this monumental poem. The first step was reading other Inaugural poems from the past and recognizing key themes. Amanda also said one of her inspirations for this poem was the language and lyrics of the famous musical Hamilton. After research and educating herself on the purpose of an Inaugural poem, Amanda wrote “The Hill We Climb.” One of the most popular lines is “Where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president.” Referencing herself, this line illustrates how society is shifting and that Kamala Harris’s win was historic. She believes America is a place where she can envision herself one day being President. This poem will be an integral piece of writing for history as Gorman continues to grow as a leader in America.

Gorman has revealed to media sources that she struggles with a speech impediment. This makes her ability to convey words so beautifully on Inauguration Day astounding to every listener. She claimed that writing poetry was a way for her to speak her thoughts. She also said that hand movements when reciting help her with delivery.

This is only the start for Amanda Gorman and it is no doubt that America will be seeing a lot more from her. Her children’s book, called “Change Sings,” is a must-read. She writes, “Is an anthem to remind young readers that they have the power to shape the world.” Her social media platform has also gained millions of followers and she seems overwhelmed with the flood of support. On her Instagram, she shared a statistic from NewsWhip that out of all the key figures on Inauguration Day, 2021, she has had the most social media interactions.

Amanda Gorman is only going to become more well known after her Inauguration debut. She is a determined, beautifully well-spoken woman who is focused on making the world more just. The closing lines of her poem read,

“For there is always light,

if only we’re brave enough to see it

If only we’re brave enough to be it.”