Amanda Gorman: Our Generation’s Greatest Influencer

by Angelina Fardo '23

On January twentieth of 2021, President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris were sworn into the United States government, making history. Harris is not only the first female in office, but she is also the first black female vice-president ever elected in the United States of America.

The inauguration ceremony featured Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, and Tom Hanks, some of today’s biggest celebrities. But the person who blew us all away with her beautiful inauguration poem was Amanda Gorman, a twenty-two-year-old African-American poet, and award-winning writer. She was the youngest inaugural poet in history, recommended for the opportunity by First Lady Jill Biden.

In an interview with Anderson Cooper, Gorman admitted that she struggled with pronouncing certain letters and sounds when she was younger. She said that writing helped bring out her voice and was a big part in staying strong while practicing her “R” sounds. When she was in college at Harvard University, Gorman sang Lin Manuel Miranda’s “Arron Burr, Sir” from his musical Hamilton and had been inspired by the play to continue writing. She even made several references to the play in her poem, which is called “The Hill We Climb.”

Growing up with a single mother, Gorman knew how strong women can be. Most of her writing focuses on oppression, race, sexism, and marginalism. She is a great inspiration for kids as well, and she recently put her children’s book “Change Sings,” along with her book “The Hill We Climb and Other Poems” for pre-order on many websites, including Barnes and Noble and her publishing company, Penguin Random House.

Her influence on the media shows strongly, as her public Instagram page went from 66 thousand followers to three million in just three days. Amanda Gorman has made history in literature arts and is one of the greatest influencers of our time.