Black History Month is unique in the sense that we designate this time period to specifically remember the numerous accomplishments and achievements that African-Americans have made throughout our nation’s history. Beginning in 1976, when President Gerald Ford officially recognized the month of February as a time to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans, this month helps to symbolize the country’s overall commitment to upholding that special promise. Thus, it is in light of this commitment, that we honor the transformative power of Americans working toward a more racially unified country where all can receive the honor and dignity deserved for their part in building this great nation. At 22 years-of-age, Amanda Gorman appears poised to follow in the footsteps of previous black historical poets, such as Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou, as she recently became the youngest inaugural poet ever to perform at a presidential swearing-in ceremony. Notably, this would not be Gorman’s last venture into national prominence, as more recently, Gorman delivered a powerful message of hope and inspiration styled “Chorus of the Captains” as a prelude to Super Bowl LV.
In addition to being an accomplished poet, Gorman has also been recognized as a distinguished scholar, having graduated cum laude with a degree in Sociology from Harvard University. Along the way, Gorman was also recognized as the country’s first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate which she accomplished at the age of nineteen. At first blush, one might see each of these outstanding achievements and think that Amanda Gorman was born into a life of privilege. However, such notions belie the litany of hardships which she has ultimately overcome.
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