President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in on Wednesday, and there’s one moment the internet can’t stop buzzing about: a recitation by poet Amanda Gorman.
The 22-year-old United States Poet Laureate is the youngest poet to read at a presidential inauguration, opting to recite her piece “The Hill We Climb.”
— NBCBLK (@NBCBLK) January 20, 2021
Amanda’s poem was a resounding call for unity in the country. “We must end this uncivil war. We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another,” she read.
Amanda also reflected on the hope she feels in this moment, adding that this is “a country and 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.”
Amanda told the New York Times that she was about halfway through the poem on January 6, when President Trump supporters stormed the Capitol. The riots prompted her to finish the poem, adding the verses, “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.”
Amanda was dressed in Prada for the momentous occasion, wearing a vibrant yellow coat which she paired with a bold red headband. Per Stylecaster, Oprah Winfrey giftedAmanda the jewelry she wore for the inauguration.
Oprah took a moment to praise Amanda on Instagram, writing, “I have never been prouder to see another young woman rise! Brava Brava, @amandascgorman! Maya Angelou is cheering—and so am I.”
Social media showed Amanda major love after her appearance. “Hamilton” writer and star Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted “YES @TheAmandaGorman!!!” prompting her to reveal that his musical had inspired two of the lines in her poem—at one point during the recitation, she declared “history has its eyes on us,” a clear nod to the Tony-winning show.
Stacey Abrams also gushed over the performance, tweeting, “Amanda Gorman’s message serves as an inspiration to us all.” Meanwhile, Jemele Hill wrote, “Amanda Gorman was just sensational. What a talent.”
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