At 22, Amanda Gorman made history on Wednesday January 20, as the youngest poet in history to read a poem at a United States presidential inauguration.
The Los Angeles-born writer, who was also named the first-ever national youth poet laureate in 2017, dazzled the world on with her sheer confidence as she delivered ‘The Hill We Climb’, one of her latest poems, at the presidential inauguration.
For Gorman, where there is a will, there is way. Born in 1998, Gorman had a speech impediment as a child – a challenge she shares with Biden.
But the young daughter of a school teacher was determined to overcome the odds as she worked round the clock to improve her public speaking skills.
To overcome her speech impediment, she started writing. At 14, she joined WriteGirl, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organisation that helps teen girls discover the power of their voice through creative writing.
Gorman’s first shot at public speaking was a second-grade monologue in the voice of Osceola of Florida’s Seminole tribe.
The development, she said, marked a watershed in her passion for written and spoken word.
“I’m sure anyone who saw it was kind of aghast at this 15-pound Black girl who was pretending to die on stage as a Native American chief,” she told Los Angeles Times.
“But I think it was important in my development because I really wanted to do justice to the story and bring it to life. It was the first time that I really leaned into the performance of text.”
Her tenacity and dint of hard work soon shot her into the spotlight. At 16, the young lady became Loss Angeles’ youth poet laureate.
She thereafter continued to pull the strings, becoming the national youth poet laureate — about three years later — while studying sociology at Harvard.
In 2015, Gorman published ‘The One For Whom Food Is Not Enough,’ her debut book. She is also expected to put out ‘Change Sings’, her forthcoming literary project, later in the year.
“I don’t look at my disability as a weakness. It’s made me the performer that I am and the storyteller that I strive to be,” she added.
“When you have to teach yourself how to say sounds [and] be highly concerned about pronunciation, it gives you a certain awareness of sonics, of the auditory experience.”
Pushing for a new America
Much of Gorman’s poems have been about charting a new course for the society, particularly America.
‘The Hill We Climb’ was inspired by the Capitol Hill invasion on January 6 and how to move America forward.
Her impressive stint and quest for societal rebirth had informed her invitation to the presidential inauguration by Jill Biden, the president-elect’s wife, who had seen a reading she gave at the Library of Congress last year.
Standing before a large audience at the US Capitol on Wednesday, Gorman again delivered a healing message, stressing the need for unity in moving America forward.
“And so we lift our gazes not what stands between us, but what stands before us. We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside,” she said.
“We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another. We seek harm to none and harmony for all.”
“If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lighten the blade. But in all the bridges we’ve made, that is the promise to glade, the hill we climb, if only we dare it, because being American is more than a pride we inherit.
“It’s the past we step into and how we repair it. We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it, would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.”
Gorman’s performance was widely praised on Twitter
Oprah Winfrey tweeted: “I have never been prouder to see another young woman rise! Brava Brava, @TheAmandaGorman! Maya Angelou is cheering—and so am I.”
Hillary Clinton tweeted: “Wasn’t @TheAmandaGorman’s poem just stunning? She’s promised to run for president in 2036 and I for one can’t wait.”
Breaking: Phyna wins Season 7 Level-up N100m BBN grand prize
Ijeoma Josephina Otabor popularly known as Phyna Sunday night emerged winner of the Season 7 Big Brother Naija grand prize, N100m.
She came first in the three-month-long reality TV show, beating Brian and Bella, the first and second runner-up respectively.
Phyna, a 25-year-old singer who had been one of the most popular housemates, won with 46.74% of the final votes from the public, while her closest rival. Brian, got 26+% votes.
Joining witch society, better than Nollywood, says Olamide Odunlade
Beautiful actress, Olamide Odunlade popularly known as ‘Olamideoyin Omomala’ has said joining witch society is better than Nollywood.
It is no big news that plenty of bad bloods flow freely in the Nigerian movie space known as Nollywood.
At least, many actors have voiced their frustrations at different times. So, when Odunlade penned her recent experience on her Instagram page, it came as no surprise.
According to the actress, the movie industry is not a lovable one, noting that so much hate abounds in the industry.
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“It is better to join a witch society than being in Nollywood but God is with me. I have always known that the industry we are in is not a lovable one,” she wrote on her wall.
Theeditorial.ng gathered that the actress was accusing a colleague of slandering her, telling lies about her.
“Feel free to say anything you like about me but make sure it’s the truth, tell them the real story of how everything happened. Mind you, I talk with receipts and evidence, I don’t just cook up lies and tarnish other people’s image. While you are busy telling them the bad side which is a lie, and you know it deep down in your heart, use that same energy and time to tell them the truth and the good side I have always shown you. I didn’t wrong anyone, and with God all things are possible,” she said.
BBN: Chizzy, Rachel in surprise eviction, six housemates remaining
Big Brother Naija housemates, Chizzy and Rachel have been evicted from the show.
The Riders were evicted on Friday night when Ebuka paid the house a surprise visit.
The two housemates were on August 5th introduced to the show as riders.
Ebuka had said they would act as agents of Biggie and cannot be disqualified.
He added that they are not eligible to win the N100 million grand prize.
Before their eviction on Friday, Ebuka had shown the housemates the highlight of their time in the house.
Although Ebuka did not inform the six finalists that Rachel and Chizzy were not real housemates, their eviction came as a surprise to fans of the show who expected them to stay till Sunday.
Their exit leaves Phyna, Bryann, Bella, Daniella, Chichi, and Adekunle battling for the prize during the grand finale on Sunday.
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