Black ExperienceLifestyleStacy M. Brown

African American Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman to Perform at Inauguration

Amanda Gorman was born in Los Angeles and studied sociology at Harvard University.

In 2017, she became the first national youth poet laureate.

On Wednesday, Gorman, an African American, will become the youngest poet to perform at a presidential inauguration.

Gorman, 23, will perform alongside Lady Gaga, who will sing the national anthem, and Jennifer Lopez.

The young poet will deliver “The Hill We Climb,” which reports suggest will include 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.

Reportedly, Dr. Jill Biden selected Gorman to perform during President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect 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.”

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