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Amanda Gorman Seizes Significance Of The Times In 'The Hill We Climb'

Amanda Gorman Seizes Significance Of The Times In 'The Hill We Climb'

Joining the ranks of Robert Frost and Maya Angelou, 22-year-old Amanda Gorman faced the extraordinary yet daunting opportunity of performing her poem to a heavily divided nation at President Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

What Happened: Tasked with delivering a message of unity, togetherness and collaboration without glossing over her experiences and what she has witnessed over the last four years, Gorman finished her composition "The Hill We Climb" on Jan. 6 shortly after insurgents stormed the U.S. Capitol building.

Addressing the outgoing administration Gorman declared, "We've seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it, would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy, and this effort very nearly succeeded."

Then, turning attention to the incoming administration under Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, she continued: "But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated. In this truth, in this faith, we trust."

Why It Matters: The U.S experienced a disruptive and consequential four years under the Trump presidency. Throughout his term Trump often nodded to the alt-right and racial violence.

He lied regularly in speeches, interviews and through posts on Twitter and encouraged the spread of conspiracy theories with his base. Trump took a populist route, isolating the U.S. from allies through the cancelling of trade agreements and abandoning of  international organizations.

In his final months in office, a refusal to concede the 2020 election and his role in the Capitol insurrection Jan. 6, which led to Trump's second impeachment, had many feeling the country's democracy was at the brink.

What's Next: At noon Wednesday, Biden and Harris were officially charged with the immense task of leading a divided nation.

Gorman, who is Black and overcame a speech impediment, as did Biden, presented her poem ahead of the swearing-in of Vice President Harris who is the first female, Black and Asian American vice president in U.S. history.

As Gorman said: "for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us."

Screenshot from C-SPAN. 


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