Lifestyle - January 21, 2021

Who is Amanda Gorman, the 22-year-old who joined Joe Biden at the Inauguration Day

This is how the African-American poet Amanda Gorman makes her entrance, very young, “thin and raised by a single mother”, wrapped in a wonderful yellow coat and maxi red headband by Prada, who perhaps does not yet know that with her words she will leave an indelible trace in American history. Joe Biden, who yesterday, during his inauguration on Capitol Hill, officially became the president of the United States of America, immediately declared that he saw the young self in this girl, so tenacious and with the desire to change the world, to the point of choosing her to support him on the most important day.

Getting to Capitol Hill, Amanda Gorman accompanied the oath with a poem written by her hand, shaken by the violence of the Trumpians after the siege. The twenty-two years do not betray her, her voice is firm and solemn, ready to recite “The Hill We Climb“, her poem, in front of an America and a world moved as never before. Like a legacy of inestimable value left by Martin Luther King, Amanda without too many words puts America in front of a truth: “The loss we carry on our shoulders is a sea that we must look at”. Human rights, democracy, respect for others have been put on hold according to Gorman, but “the light is about to return if we are brave enough to see it”. Amanda with her words invites Americans to learn from the mistakes of the past to write a present to be proud of, a present in which America is a country where no more blades are used, but bridges are built to make diversity, one characteristic of an inestimable beauty. Amanda brings to completion in the most delicate and memorable way a fight, that of Black Lives Matter, provoked by one of the saddest pages in modern American history. With her speech, Amanda Gorman became an ambassador for all the new generations, who are fighting for the world to become a better place, so that there is a future for everyone without distinction.

Born in Los Angeles on March 7, 1998, Amanda Gorman is a poet and activist. Daughter of a single teacher, as she pointed out in her speech, Amanda graduated from Harvard with a degree in sociology to pursue her career as an activist, and today she is also the youngest poet ever to act in a presidential inauguration ceremony. In fact, her work is divided between activism on issues such as marginalization, oppression, racism and feminism and poetry, for which she won National Youth Poet Laureate, the first Harvard prize dedicated to young writers. Hindered at a young age by a hearing disorder, she has always felt different from her peers, just like Joe Biden himself, who was also affected by a speech impediment as a child. Her rare solidity, and having spoken the words that perhaps the whole world was waiting to hear, have also won her the approval of the Obamas, ready to support her in her political dream. Yes, Amanda herself opened her speech by thanking all the presidents present for giving her the opportunity to dream of becoming president one day, even if only by being able to speak to them on this important day.

In case you haven’t heard the speech, here is her “The Hill We Climb” poem 

When day comes, we ask ourselves where can we find light in this never-ending shade? 

The loss we carry, a sea we must wade. 

We’ve braved the belly of the beast. 

We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace, 

and the norms and notions of what “just” is isn’t always justice. 

And yet, the dawn is ours before we knew it. 

Somehow we do it. 

Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, 

but simply unfinished. 

We, the successors of 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.

And yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, 

but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect. 

We are striving to forge our union with purpose. 

To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters, and conditions of man. 

And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us. 

We close the divide because we know, to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside. 

We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another. 

We seek harm to none and harmony for all. 

Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true: 

That even as we grieved, we grew. 

That even as we hurt, we hoped. 

That even as we tired, we tried. 

That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious. 

Not because we will never again know defeat, but because we will never again sow division.

Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one shall make them afraid. 

If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade, but in all the bridges we’ve made. 

That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb, if only we dare. 

It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit. 

It’s the past we step into and how we repair it. 

We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it. 

Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy. 

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. 

This is the era of just redemption. 

We feared it at its inception. 

We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour, 

but within it, we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves.

So while once we asked, ‘How could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?’ now we assert, ‘How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?’

We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be: 

A country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free. 

We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation. 

Our blunders become their burdens. 

But one thing is certain: 

If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change, our children’s birthright.

So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left. 

With every breath from my bronze-pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one. 

We will rise from the golden hills of the west. 

We will rise from the wind-swept north-east where our forefathers first realized revolution. 

We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states. 

We will rise from the sun-baked south. 

We will rebuild, reconcile, and recover.

In every known nook of our nation, in every corner called our country, 

our people, diverse and beautiful, will emerge, battered and beautiful.

When day comes, we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid. 

The new dawn blooms as we free it. 

For there is always light, 

if only we’re brave enough to see it. 

If only we’re brave enough to be it.

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