She made history on a very history making day, and in the process won the hearts of many Americans.
When National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman recited “The Hill We Climb” at the Capitol on Wednesday, she became the youngest poet to participate in a presidential inauguration.
Social media lit up as she spoke.
Here are five things to know about Gorman:
Gorman is 22 years old, which makes her the youngest person to recite a poem at a presidential inauguration. She was named the first national youth poet laureate while a student at Harvard.
Like President Joe Biden, Gorman has overcome a speech impediment from childhood caused by an auditory processing disorder. It makes certain letters difficult to pronounce. The letter “r,” she told the Crimson in 2018, is “the bane of my human existence.”
Gorman told the Harvard publication she doesn’t view her speech impediment as a crutch, but rather as a gift and a strength.
“Every now and then there will be a little girl at an event and she goes, ‘I have an auditory processing disorder too and I sound exactly like you,’” she said.
Eye on the White House
Gorman said she intends to run for president in 2036, the first election in which she’ll be eligible. Seeing Vice President Kamala Harris take office reinvigorated her plans, the told the L.A. Times.
“There’s no denying that a victory for her is a victory for all of us who would like to see ourselves represented as women of color in office,” she said. “It makes it more imaginable. Once little girls can see it, little girls can be it. Because they can be anything that they want, but that representation to make the dream exist in the first place is huge — even for me.”
Capitol riot inspired part of her poem
Gorman had written about half her poem when the attack on the U.S. Capitol happened. According to KSAT.com, she felt it was something she should address in her poem, which she finished that night.
Part of her poem reads:
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.
In this truth, in this faith we trust.
For while we have our eyes on the future,
History has its eyes on us.
She has two books
Gorman’s first poetry collection, “The Hill We Climb,” is already No. 1 on Amazon. Her lyrical picture book, “Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem,” is No. 2.
Both books are scheduled for release Sept. 21 — yes, that’s eight months from now.