Your timeline may be filled with pictures of a young girl in a bright yellow jacket and red headband speaking at the inauguration. Who is this young woman? And why should we listen?
Amanda Gorman is a 22-year-old, published poet. She was the first person named the National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017. And on Inauguration Day 2021 she performed “The Hill We Climb.”
Before you brush aside Gorman’s words, take a second to really look/listen to what she’s saying. She brings up a conversation -one that Tony has all the time, one of unity.
“…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…”
Now you don’t have to agree with everything, in fact, you probably don’t. There is a time to talk about our differences and sometimes those differences can’t be set aside. However, in this case, Gorman talks about what we as a nation not just want, but need. The idea that ‘not what stands between us, but what stands before us is the hopeful look ahead,’ isn’t that what we all want?
The power of her words has touched so many across the nation and sparked important conversations. Gorman reached both sides in a way that only the arts can.
Tony took a moment to note that utilizing that power is what the political right is lacking.
“This disdain that far too many on the political right have for art is what’s killing us…Art and culture matter and they win. Art is culture. Art allows you to win the culture, allows you to get your message across, allows you to reach people and connect in another way.”
“It (the Republican Party) doesn’t need any more facts and figures, it needs to connect.”
Art is power and maybe that’s something to think about?