Who is Amanda Gorman?

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By Sofia Carucci and Lindsey Clinton

20 days into 2021 and Amanda Gorman has already made history and is breaking boundaries at the age of 22.  Her impactful poem at the Biden-Harris inauguration brought tears to the eyes of many.  With her continuing monumental successes starting from a young age, she inspires little girls across the world.  Gorman’s poems turn heads, and the publicity she received resulted in her becoming the first-ever poet to speak at the Super Bowl.

Amanda Gorman and her twin sister, Gabrielle, were raised by their single mother, Joan Wicks, in Los Angeles, California.  After suffering from chronic ear infections as a baby, Gorman developed a speech impediment due to an auditory processing disorder.  Her impediment led to restrictions of letter pronunciations, the most prominent being “r”.  Over time, Amanda was able to push past this obstacle and is now taking the world by storm by achieving her goals.  In 2013, she was informed of Malala’s story in her journey of defeating the Taliban regarding their opinion on women in school.  Gorman was inspired by her and became a youth delegate at the United Nations.  Four years later, in 2017, she recited her poem entitled, “The Gathering Place” at the UN’s Social Good Summit, and pursued her studies of sociology at Harvard University.  Amanda’s passion for abolishing inequality in the youth education system was the reason for founding her non-profit organization, “One Pen One Page”, in 2016.  She helps empower future generations to express themselves and raise their voices, saying, “Intelligence can come from anywhere and expresses itself in many forms”. 

Although Amanda Gorman made it seem effortless, she struggled with finishing her poem that she would recite at the inauguration entitled, “The Hill We Climb”.  When being interviewed, she said that she would write a few lines per day, however, it was not flowing like she wished it would.  It was not until the day of the Capitol Riot when Gorman had a sudden boost and ended up staying up late to finish her piece.  Her words emphasized the hope and bravery needed to reunite our divided country.  “We are striving to forge a union with purpose, to compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters, and conditions of man.”  Gorman is drawing attention to the fact that every person deserves the right to be accepted in their own country, no matter race or culture.  In reference to the Capitol Riots that were arranged by Trump supporters on January 6th, Amanda Gorman includes in her poem, “But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated.”

It is evident that Amanda Gorman will stand by the sides of honorable young voices, such as Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg, and Emma González, who advocate for a better quality of life.

Featured Photo: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool