By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
Amanda Gorman was born in Los Angeles and studied sociology at Harvard University.
In 2017, the now 22-year-old became the first national youth poet laureate.
On Wednesday, Jan. 20, Gorman, an African American, was the youngest poet to perform at a presidential inauguration. Gorman performed alongside Lady Gaga, who sang the national anthem, and Jennifer Lopez.
The young poet delivered “The Hill We Climb,” which included lines about the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
“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,” Gorman has written.
It is not the first time Gorman will have a national stage. In 2017, she read at the inauguration of the 22nd U.S. poet laureate, Tracy K Smith. She has also performed for Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, Malala Yousafzai, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Gorman read a poem at last Sunday’s Superbowl which was the first time a poem had been performed at the football classic.
Reportedly, Dr. Jill Biden selected Gorman to perform during President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ inauguration.
“I wasn’t trying to write something in which those events were painted as an irregularity or different from an America that I know,” Gorman told the Los Angeles Times.
“America is messy. It is still in its early development of all that we can become. And I have to recognize that in the poem. I cannot ignore that or erase it. And so, I crafted an inaugural poem that recognizes these scars and these wounds. Hopefully, it will move us toward healing them.”