Amanda Gorman made history as the youngest known poet to ever speak at an inauguration in the United States. Her original poem, “The Hill We Climb,” captivated the world and instantly sparked hope.
Now, the 22-year-old Harvard graduate is going viral for being on the cover of TIME’s special Black Renaissance issue. The impact of this moment is magnified even more through a special interview with former first lady Michelle Obama.
“What’s been exciting for me is I get to absorb and to live in that creation I see from other African-American artists that I look up to,” said Gorman during her interview with Michelle Obama. “In all the forms of expression of human life, we’re seeing that artistry be informed by the Black experience. I can’t imagine anything more exciting than that.”
An Interview with Michelle Obama
The national youth poet laureate was photographed by Awol Erizku and interviewed by Michelle Obama for the TIME magazine feature. This Black Renaissance edition was assembled through a collaboration with activist and scholar Ibram X Kendi. It highlights Black culture and the arts, and captures a compelling conversation between Gorman and Obama. These two history-makers get real about activism, being a Black woman, and the power of poetry.
“I am still grappling with the fact that I have entered the historical record,” says Gorman during her interview. “I don’t think I always knew I was going to be the Inaugural poet, but every single time I wrote a public poem, before I began writing it, I would tell myself: write a poem that is worthy of a presidential inauguration.”
Black Renaissance Special Edition Feature
This week has led to even more exciting news for the young star. TIME Magazine dropped the Black Renaissance special edition issue on Friday, February 5th. Gorman graces the cover of the magazine with a yellow dress designed by Greta Constantine. During her TIME magazine interview, she shared many words of wisdom that can help anyone take bold, inspired action.
“You really have to crown yourself with the belief that what I’m about and what I’m here for is way beyond this moment,” Gorman shared. “I’m learning that I am not lightning that strikes once. I am the hurricane that comes every single year, and you can expect to see me again soon.”
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