Column: Inaugural poet Gorman an inspiration

Destiny Blanchard

The big event of last week was the long-awaited inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. News of Biden’s first acts of the president, the impressive display of peacoats, and Bernie Sanders’ meme-worthy mittens have taken over the media. There are so many things to talk about from that day, but for me, the highlight was not the swearing-in of our nation’s new leaders, but the inspirational words from the inaugural poet, Amanda Gorman.

Amanda Gorman made history as the youngest inaugural poet at 22, as she performed an original composition titled “The Hill We Climb.” The Harvard graduate has a history of speaking up on issues of racism, police brutality, and the incarceration of migrant children.

She was the first national youth poet of Los Angeles at the age of 19 and is set to publish her first book, a children’s book titled “Change Sings” in September of this year.

She is the first person to announce their run for president in 2036 and has many other achievements. First Lady Jill Biden is a fan of Gorman’s work and convinced the inaugural committee to pick her to deliver the inaugural poem.

Gorman’s poem was recited with confidence and in a moving tone. She spoke about loss and lack of justice within our country. She referred to us as a “nation that isn’t broken but simply unfinished,” and called for an effort to forge unity between all people regardless of differences. She recalled how we grieved, hurt, and became tired as a people but came to grow, hope, and try harder to fortify a future worth waiting for. Her message overall is clear; there are lingering feelings of hurt and fear among us, but there is an opportunity for us to rise above it all.

I find so much inspiration in Gorman’s words and aspire to be as driven and eloquent as she is. Who she is as a person and her performance at the inauguration embodies the grace that is held by the many other inspirational women that watched her speak.

It’s symbolic for her to have performed in the presence of former First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Harris, who like her are both Black women who broke the barriers that kept people like them from having such high positions and status. I invite anyone who hasn’t watched her performance to do so and to take in the importance of her message.


Destiny Blanchard is a junior management major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]