A renewed sense of hope was shared with the globe today. President Joe Biden and Madam Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn into office at the Capitol following a tumultuous four years. While spectators were limited to just a handful, the National Mall was instead filled with 200,000 American flags to represent the people who could not be in attendance.
An A-list lineup celebrated Inauguration Day. Lady Gaga sung the National Anthem whilst draped in a stunning custom ensemble by Schiaparelli Haute Couture, designed by Daniel Roseberry, and Jennifer Lopez donned a full Chanel look to perform a touching rendition of Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Land Is Your Land’ and ‘America The Beautiful’. But it was Amanda Gorman who left us all utterly captivated.
At just 22-years-old, Amanda Gorman is the youngest poet ever to recite at a presidential inauguration in the United States. Following in the footsteps of Maya Angelou and Robert Frost, she delivered her powerful poem titled ‘The Hill We Climb’.
“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,” Gorman proudly announced.
“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.”
Gorman appeared in front of the Capitol Building wearing a floor-length yellow Prada coat and red headband. The bright pop of colour could be a nod to the 2021 Pantone Colour of the Year, ‘Illuminating Yellow’, which was chosen to signify optimism and hope.
Taking to Twitter, Gorman also revealed she wore a ring with a caged bird – a gift from none other than Oprah Winfrey for the occasion and to symbolise Maya Angelou, a previous inaugural poet.
Thank you! I would be nowhere without the women whose footsteps I dance in. While reciting my poem, I wore a ring with a caged bird—a gift from @Oprah for the occasion , to symbolize Maya Angelou, a previous inaugural poet. Here’s to the women who have climbed my hills before. https://t.co/5Tegd20sko
— Amanda Gorman (@TheAmandaGorman) January 20, 2021
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, she said of her poem, “I wasn’t trying to write something in which those events were painted as an irregularity or different from an America that I know.”
“America is messy. It’s still in its early development of all that we can become. And I have to recognise that in the poem. I can’t ignore that or erase it. And so, I crafted an inaugural poem that recognises these scars and these wounds. Hopefully, it will move us toward healing them.”
Gorman became the first ever national youth poet laureate in 2017.