Creating New History - Amanda Gorman

In the spirit of our 2021 Black History Month Collection theme of “Creating New History”, we are highlighting throughout the month of February, 4 incredible pioneers who are presently making history. Their awe-inspiring contributions will be the stories shared in years to come. We hope that you learn something new about the movers and shakers of the 21st century.

Our first figure is now a household name after her mesmerizing reading of her stirring poem “The Hill We Climb,” at President Joe Biden's inauguration. Amanda Gorman set the country ablaze with her emotional and powerful poem. Her most recent accomplishment of youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history is just one of many soon to come.

She was born in Los Angeles and raised by a single mother. From a young age she loved poetry and cites Maya Angelou as one of her biggest inspirations. Gorman began breaking glass ceilings early on by being the first to be chosen as the Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles at just 16 and then the named the first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017. 

Her poem "The Hill We Climb," was completed in the wake of the Capitol riots. She felt compelled to address this attack in her poem to not only express her feelings on the shocking event, but to also convey how we can move forward as a country. She addresses the moment when she recited, "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".

She was selected for the task of reading her poem at the inauguration by the new First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden. Dr. Biden previously saw Gorman perform at the Library of Congress and advocated for her before the inaugural committee.

Outside of poetry, Gorman is a United Nations Delegate and in 2017 performed her poem, "The Gathering Place" at the UN's Social Good Summit. She's written a children's book called, Change Sings: A Children's Anthem is a story meant to empower children to be hopeful and advocate change. She has more books on the way later this year. 

Amanda Gorman is a strong determined young woman, ready to make her mark on American history. She has already achieved many things and with her tenacity and ambition, this won't be the last time we hear of her. 

Catch Gorman on Sunday, February 7, as she recites an original work at Super Bowl LV. Her poem will highlight three individuals Trimaine Davis, an educator, Suzie Dorner, a nurse manager, and James Martin, a veteran - all being recognized as leaders in their communities during the pandemic. 




Sharyn G. Morris February 18, 2021

Amanda is amazing. Our country is blessed to have young people like her. They are our future. We can only move forward by embracing what has made us all. We will never be perfect, but as long as we strive to do the good that lives inside us, we will succeed. I am looking forward to hearing more from this young woman; she moved me so much with her inaugural poem. I believe in this country and democracy. I will always support our right to make our opinions known to each other. There is always room for discussion and compromise. We are stronger together, because of our diversity. God Bless You Amanda and the good work you are doing. Keep it up!!!

Deb Alexander February 18, 2021

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