The Hill We Climb

Amanda Gorman at the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, January 20, 2021.

— Amanda Gorman, January 20, 2021

Amanda Gorman was named the first National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017. Raised in West L.A., Gorman’s early worldview was shaped by her mother’s experience as a sixth-grade teacher in the (still, always) under-served community of Watts. Her work as an activist, which includes spoken word performances, poetry, children’s books, videos, and more, frequently emphasizes intersectionality, calling for unity even while celebrating our differences. “I feel it’s prudent to understand that to fight for one group of people is essentially to fight for all people,” she notes. “You can’t be against racism but anti-trans, just like you can’t be feminist and anti-black — they’re practically oxymorons! All communities are interwoven and affect each other, either directly or indirectly.”

[Research Note: Amanda Gorman]