Amanda Gorman, an icon.
Already having amassed an impressive following due to her past literary affairs and activism, Gorman, who describes herself as a “wordsmith” and “changemaker,” made her debut as one of the youngest inaugural poets in U.S. history this past January (2021). Her poem, The Hill We Climb, touched the hearts of many, including myself: I remember sitting, listening to her words, filling me with hope for a much brighter and uplifting future, a future full of color and peace, a light leading to endless possibilities, especially as a person of color.
There’s more. Amanda Gorman’s art and activism hones in on issues, such as the oppression women face, race, and the African diaspora. Only being a teenager, before her acceptance to Harvard College, one of her first impactful steps towards this work was her drafting a novel at the age of 16, a year later having it published: The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough. While you can no longer snag a copy of this, Penguin Random House has two of her works in-store for release in September 2021.
Gorman has received countless awards and various recognitions: featured on XQ Insitute, for Book of the Month, wrote and read a tribute towards black athletes for Nike, read her poetry on MTV, and more. Glamour Magazine also chose her as their “College Women of the Year” and met virtually with Oprah Winfrey this past May (2020). Her achievements are impressive, to say the least, refreshingly inspiring for a new generation of incubating leaders.
While I cannot mention all of her incredible accomplishments, due to her immense selflessness, it comes to show that Amanda Gorman, a powerful, influential, and black literary influencer, described by The Root magazine as a “Young Futurist,” is an artist to be watched. Gorman, alongside many others, is a powerful voice we need amidst this dark and startling world.