Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris may not be the only Black woman making history on Inauguration Day. National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman is poised to become the youngest poet to perform during a presidential inauguration. The Los Angeles native hopes that she can use her performance to pull a divided nation close together.
"As I was crafting this piece, it was really trying to communicate a message of joining together and crossing divides," Gorman said.
Gorman is no stranger to big stages. She has performed in a variety of venues for many different events. From Harvard University to the American Black Film Festival, Gorman has shared her talents with Hilary Clinton, Lin-Manuel Miranda and many others. Her performance also translates into written poetry. She wrote a tribute for Black athletes at Nike, published her first book as a teenager and signed a two-book deal with Viking Children's Books. As big as the stage is, Gorman will not be rattled.
"I am the daughter of Black writers, who are descended from Freedom Fighters, who broke the chains who changed the world. They call me," she tells herself before every performance.
Gorman will not be the only performer during the inauguration. The National Youth Poet Laureate will be joined by the likes of John Legend and Kerry Washington. Howard University's Showtime Marching Band, Flashing Flag Squad and Oh La La dancers will also participate in the day's festivities.
“We are proud to unite safely as a band to represent Howard University, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and all HBCUs across the country,” Howard University Band Director Kelvin Washington said.
From Harris to Gorman, Inauguration Day will be full of Black figures making history and blazing trails for those to follow behind them.
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