My name is Amanda Gorman and I’m the Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of the United States of America. I’m 19 (but I look like an 11-year-old and feel like an 87-year-old). I was born and raised in Los Angeles, and am a sophomore attending Harvard University. I’m passionate both about poetry and social justice–how can we use words to effect positive change in our communities and the world? I work as an activist and a community leader, and in high school founded One Pen One Page, which promotes literacy and youth leadership through storytelling programs.
Amanda Gorman by Anna Zhang (6)
Amanda Gorman by Anna Zhang

We the People
by Amanda Gorman, The U.S. Youth Poet Laureate

We the people live in a less than perfect union
That accuses the vulnerable and never the top class and race
When children are ‘illegal’ and intolerance bans humans
I wonder who ‘we the people’ are in the first place

We the people’ meant All Lives Matter, but are white lives living a coincidence
When if you’re not male or pale you get destroyed for demonstrating dissidence?
When the color of his skin gives a killer assumed innocence?
But still we will rise up, advocate and activate, with the peoples’ diligence

Let’s speak names to we the people
So they are not lost in executive orders’ lines
Protect them from prick of tweet, pen, bullet, or steeple
Sturdy our spines to keep making signs and reading the signs

It’s hectic, apocalyptic, there’s skeptics, but we can be united.
For what makes America great is diversity and democracy reignited
In excitement they call for an indictment but I think 4 years are far too farsighted
What can the enlightened do NOW for the blighted so wrongs are righted?

We the people are brave enough to love this country’s creed
We the people love this country enough to question its misdeeds
We the people question enough to build upon this foundation
We the people erect an improved hilltop of a nation

Indivisible by where we come from, or who we are born
We the people are those who let freedom ring
So that no matter how we love, talk, pray, or mourn
This America too is ours to build and ours to sing

Amanda Gorman by Anna Zhang (5)

The fight for social injustice not only inspires my writing but my life’s work. Through poetry I can speak to both the world’s problems and it’s solutions, as well as the microcosms of conflict inside myself. I love writing poetry because  it is innately cutting-edge; as a black female poet, every time I take the stage I have a new opportunity to defy limitations placed on the art, contributions, and leadership of creative women of color.

Amanda Gorman by Anna Zhang (7)Amanda Gorman by Anna Zhang (8)

 

Written by Amanda Gorman
Photos by Anna Zhang

 

Read more about Amanda here.