Women’s History Month: Amanda Gorman


Harvard University

Amanda Gorman ’20, the first Youth Poet Laureate of the United States, is pictured in Harvard Yard at Harvard University. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

Elena Nasar, Writer

Amanda Gorman gained worldwide attention when she read her poem “The Hill We Climb” at President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ Inauguration ceremony on January 20, 2021.  Amanda Gorman is a modern poet who writes for change. One of her many accomplishments includes being named the first National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017. When she announced the releases of her books, they went straight to the top of the bestseller’s list. Her poetry inspires many as she expresses her beliefs and advocates for feminism and equality. Though it seems as if Gorman is effortlessly talented she had many hardships growing up. Amanda had an auditory processing disorder. She used poetry as a strategy to express herself without having to overcome her speech issues.

Gorman was inspired by Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai to become a youth delegate for the United Nations in 2013. She developed youth programs with the county of Los Angeles Commission on Human Relations and later self-published her first collection of poetry, The One for Whom Food is not Enough in 2015. She enrolled in Harvard University a year later, continuing to collaborate with her sister Gabrielle. The sisters created a short film, Rise up As One (2018) about activism. She was recognized by many poetry groups leading to her once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, reading a poem at the President’s Inauguration. Amanda’s grace and moving message allured the audience, addressing the nation’s losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the Capitol Insurrection. Her beautiful poem rallied the nation to unite during this important event. Amanda Gorman is only one of the many black women who have changed our world for the better and we all celebrate her during Women’s History Month this year.