Watch Poet Amanda Gorman's Historic and Showstopping Reading at the Biden Inauguration
By John Boone
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Inauguration 2021: Amanda Gorman Makes History With Moving Poem
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Amanda Gorman not only made history during Wednesday's inauguration -- at 22, she is the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history -- but delivered the moment of the morning when she performed a reading of her original poem following the swearing in of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
The poem, "The Hill We Climb," was inspired by the Capitol riots earlier this month. "Where can we find light in this never-ending shade?" she recited on Wednesday. "And yet, the dawn is ours before we knew it. Somehow we do it. Somehow we weathered and witnessed a nation that isn't broken but simply unfinished."
As for the ensemble, the yellow coat is Prada, while the jewelry is a gift from none other than Oprah Winfrey. "Oprah got her the earrings that she's wearing and, on her hand, she has a ring that's shaped like a caged bird as a tribute to Maya [Angelou]," Gayle King said on CBS News. (Angelou served as Bill Clinton's inaugural poet in 1993, with Winfrey gifting her a coat.)
Gorman became the first National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017 and, in her poem, refers to herself as "a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother [who] can dream of becoming president, only to find herself reciting for one."
Watch her full speech now:
Michelle Obama took to social following the inauguration to applaud her, writing, "With her strong and poignant words, [Gorman] reminds us of the power we each hold in upholding our democracy. Keep shining, Amanda! I can't wait to see what you do next. 💕 #BlackGirlMagic"