Chido Nwangwu, Publisher USAfricaonline.com, draws attention to an important detail on American President Joe Biden’s recent inauguration-the poetry of Amanda Gorman, the youngest and only presidential youth laureate
Once in a long time, someone of extraordinary creative capacity emerges on the landscape of a community, country, continent or all across the world. For many, it takes many, many years of work, ups-and-downs, countless setbacks until the rewards of the sacrifices and diligence begin to be noticed or begin to pay off. Sometimes, for only a few individuals, only a handful, the sweet marriage of early preparation and fitness for strategic opportunities which sometimes come once in a lifetime become the life-changing event. It’s that consummate unity of opportunity and readiness!
With that synergy of skills and maybe a little bit of introduction, facilitation and blessing/luck, they shoot into this firmament just like the shinning stars they are. They fly and soar on the wings of intellection and creative flourish. The world becomes their canvas. The social media and the multimedia of communications transport within seconds The power of the ideas, song or algorithm in one person’s head and heart from Washington to Warri, from Boston to Baghdad, from Aba to Albuquerque.
And so it is with the 22 year old African-American Amanda Gorman — who is easily the most popular poet in America, possibly in the world, today!
Without any doubts, she has captivated the attention of the American literati, the global network of scholars, young folks, community activists and civic leaders. Amanda rose to the opportunity on January 20, 2021 with her outstanding performance as the youngest and only presidential youth laureate at President Joe Biden’s inaugural event in Washington DC.
In a few days, the content of the production and presentation of another well-known American tradition will feature Amanda, a graduate of Harvard University. She will read a poem during the 2021 Super Bowl football extravaganza between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on February 7. It will be recited in honor of three individuals who have made a difference in the fight against the corona pandemic. They are educator Trimaine Davis, Nurse Manager Suzie Dorner and U.S Marine veteran James Martin.
It speaks to the power and influence of Amanda’s voice and skills for the leadership of the American national football league to create such a time for poetry in a game of physical skills, and of course strategic mindset.
Her unique flow of historical and contemporary knowledge elevate her poems to the deserving levels of national and internation discourse. Her poem on January 20 spoke with a striking lucidity and contextual validities.
Although, her immediate, target audience on that fateful, historic day for the young woman who proudly beholds her African heritage is America, she held forth a message that had meaning and challenge to many countries and heritages. From that spectacular work — for its simplicity and profound value, I call the opening chapters of Amanda Gorman’s gospel to America
She carries her modest figure with admiral grace and decency. She’s appreciative of all the kindness she’s witnessed — especially from Oprah. Amanda is worthy manifestation of why it’s very important to educate both the boys and girls. Rise and rise, Amanda!
My fav’ excerpt from ‘The Hill We Climb’ presidential inaugural poem by Amanda Gorman:
For while we have our eyes on the future
history has its eyes on us
This is the era of just redemption
We feared at its inception
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour
but within it we found the power
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was
but move to what shall be
A country that is bruised but whole,
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation
Our blunders become their burdens
But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children’s birthright
So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,
we will rise from the windswept northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,
we will rise from the sunbaked south
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
and every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
When day comes we step out of the shade,
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it.”