All about Amanda Gorman's powerful fashion, poem at Joe Biden's inauguration

At the ceremony, 22-year-old poet, Amanda Gorman took to the stage to perform her composition for the event, The Hill We Climb, and the social activist gave powerful messages, not only through her words, but also her choice of clothes.
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 01:53 PM IST
American poet Amanda Gorman reads a poem during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington January 20, 2021.(Reuters)

The 46th President of the United States of America, Joe Biden and his Vice President Kamala Harris’ inauguration boasted powerful performances by A-list celebrities, moving speeches and high-octane fashion that not only stunned but also had an underlying message. At the ceremony, 22-year-old poet, Amanda Gorman took to the stage to perform her composition for the event, The Hill We Climb, and the youngest poet to ever be a part of the inauguration ceremony also sent various messages, not only through her words, but also through her choice of clothes. Amanda was seen in a yellow coat , also veered towards the same. She delivered a powerful poem and also made a statement with her ensemble.

Gorman wore a yellow coloured double-breasted piece from Prada, and a thick padded red satin hairband. The young poet chose her outfit herself, but philanthrophist and former talk show host, Oprah Winfrey had expressed a desire to gift Amanda her ensemble. Previously, Oprah had done the same for late poet Maya Angelou, when she recited for Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1993. Upon knowing that Amanda already had an ensemble in place, Oprah chose to gift both the jewellery pieces, a ring and earrings, that were worn by Amanda.

In an earlier interaction with Vogue, Gorman had explained her wardrobe choices, “One thing I can say is that I’m pretty sure I’ll be wearing a ring that has a caged bird, to symbolize I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (book by Maya Angelou). I’m also wearing a yellow coat, which is my own nod to Dr. Jill Biden, who was the one who recommended me in the first place, and I’m so honoured by that. She said, 'I saw this video of you and you were wearing yellow and I loved it.' I’m glad we can talk about the fashion, because it has so much meaning to me, and it’s my way to lean into the history that came before me and all the people supporting me.”

Here’s the full transcript of Amanda Gorman’s Inauguration Day 2021 poem:

The Hill We Climb

When day comes, we ask ourselves where can we find light in this never-ending shade?

The loss we carry, a sea we must wade.

We’ve braved the belly of the beast.

We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace,

and the norms and notions of what 'just' is isn’t always justice.

And yet, the dawn is ours before we knew it.

Somehow we do it.

Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken,

but simply unfinished.

We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president, only to find herself reciting for one.

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And yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine,

but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect.

We are striving to forge our union with purpose.

To compose a country committed to all cultures, colours, characters, and conditions of man.

And so we lift our gazes not to 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.

We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another.

We seek harm to none and harmony for all.

Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:

That even as we grieved, we grew.

That even as we hurt, we hoped.

That even as we tired, we tried.

That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious.

Not because we will never again know defeat, but because we will never again sow division.

Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one shall make them afraid.

If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lie in 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’s 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.

This effort very nearly succeeded.

But while democracy can be periodically delayed,

it can never be permanently defeated.

In this truth, in this faith, we trust,

for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.

This is the era of just redemption.

We feared it 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 author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves.

So while once we asked, ‘How could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?’ now we assert, ‘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, benevolent but bold, fierce and free.

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, and might with right, 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 golden hills of the west.

We will rise from the wind-swept north-east where our forefathers first realized revolution.

We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states.

We will rise from the sun-baked south.

We will rebuild, reconcile, and recover.

In every known nook of our nation, in every corner called our country,

our people, diverse and beautiful, will emerge, battered and beautiful.

When day comes, we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid.

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.

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