Quantcast
Poet Amanda Gorman Covers 'TIME' In Interview By Michelle Obama
mccv / Shutterstock.com

Poet Amanda Gorman Covers 'TIME' In Interview By Michelle Obama

And the gems were as presidential, classic, and black as you can imagine.

Culture & Entertainment

Amanda Gorman has captivated the world with her poetry. Chipped from the block of Queen Maya Angelou, with the grace of a regal feline, Gorman has taken up space in a lane that she has created for herself; a lane cool enough for her, and a lane full of pride and peace.

After speaking at Joe Biden's Presidential Inauguration, her stardom has catapulted, even providing an opportunity to perform at the Super Bowl (the first poet to ever do so btw). And she's unapologetic about it, in fact, she feels at home. Why? Because she has prepared herself to be here. Recently, the 22-year old sat down with Forever First Lady, Michelle Obama for an interview with Time Magazine. And the gems were as presidential, classic, and black as you can imagine.

Amanda Gorman on the mantra she recites to herself before performing:

"This mantra I'm about to say is actually in part inspired by Lin-Manuel Miranda's lyrics in Moana in the song, 'Song of the Ancestors.' Whenever I listen to songs, I rewrite them in my head. That song goes: 'I'm the daughter of the village chief. We're descended from voyagers who made the way across the world.' Something like that. Sorry Lin. I really wanted something that I could repeat because I get so terrified whenever I perform.
"So my mantra is: 'I'm the daughter of Black writers who are descended from Freedom Fighters who broke their chains and changed the world. They call me.' I say that to remind myself of ancestors that are all around me whenever I'm performing."

On poets that came before her:

Gorman has paid her dues to those she has carried the baton to the forefront for, giving them ample praise:

"I love Black poets. I love that as a Black girl, I get to participate in that legacy. So that's Yusef Komunyakaa, Sonia Sanchez, Tracy K. Smith, Phillis Wheatley. And then I look to artists who aren't just poets. I was also listening to the composers who I feel are great storytellers, but they don't use words so I try to fill in that rhetoric myself."

On her speech and communication struggles:

A little known fact, is that she had difficulty with sounding out words (whaat!?) most of her life. It wasn't until recently, that the Harvard grad conquered the challenge, but she still struggles at times, telling the Forever First Lady:

"President Biden has talked about having a stutter. Maya Angelou was mute for several years. I could not say certain sounds, like r, so I would be saying things like poetwee or dolla. My last name is Gorman, and I could not say that really until three years ago. For a long time, I looked at it as a weakness. Now I really look at it as a strength because going through that process, it made me a writer, for one, because I had to find a form in which I could communicate other than through my mouth, and two, when I was brave enough to try to take those words from the page onto the stage, I brought with me this understanding of the complexity of sound, pronunciation, emphasis."

On her family life and twin sister:

"As twins, we're actually pretty dissimilar. But what bonds us isn't our personalities; it's our values. We've been raised like you, by a strong Black woman who taught us to value our ideas and our voices. It's really interesting when you have two daughters, especially two Black daughters close in age, because they're kind of operating as—I don't want to say each other's mothers—but sisters and then some. If I act out of line, the first person who's going to know about it is my sister, and vice versa."

And finally, on the advice she has for little black girls around the world:

Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

Gorman's advice is incredibly real:

"I would say anyone who finds themselves suddenly visible and suddenly famous, think about the big picture. Especially for girls of color, we're treated as lightning or gold in the pan—we're not treated as things that are going to last. You really have to crown yourself with the belief that what I'm about and what I'm here for is way beyond this moment. I'm learning that I am not lightning that strikes once. I am the hurricane that comes every single year, and you can expect to see me again soon."

What a beautiful, enamoring, poised, humble soul. We look forward to everything single project she releases from here to forever.

Read the full interview here.

Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the xoTribe Members Community today!

Featured image by mccv / Shutterstock.com

Doja Cat Debuts Shaved Head & Shares Her Previous Struggles With Her Natural Hair

Doja Cat has followed in the footsteps of the likes of Saweetie and Tiffany Haddish and shaved her head. She debuted the look on Instagram Live and also decided to shave her eyebrows. During her Instagram Live, the “Vegas” rapper explained why she finally let go of her hair. “I feel like I was never supposed to have hair anyway,” she said. “I, like, don’t like having hair. I never liked having hair. I cannot tell you one time, since the beginning of my life, that I’ve ever been like, ‘This is cool. I just do not like to have hair.'”

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.
Omarion: 'My Sexiness To The Core Is Just Who I Am'

Omarion has found himself at the center of attention over the last few years. From the controversy surrounding his former bandmate Lil Fizz dating the singer’s ex and mother of his children Apryl Jones to becoming a viral meme after a TikToker recreated his dance from a 2015 performance. And more recently he received a lot of criticism for his Verzuz battle against Mario. But drama aside, Omarion has also had people singing his praises.

Keep reading...Show less
candace-junee-xonecole

I think it's fair to say that most of us long to reach that place where the money resides, especially in the present times when life is so uncertain and people are likely to lose their jobs at any given moment. On the other hand, perhaps thanks to the plethora of entrepreneurs that document their journeys on social media, there's the sense that abundant financial wealth seems more accessible now than it ever has before. With that said, despite all the step-by-step guides to becoming rich available on the market, we can still hear the same question echoing in our heads: How do I get to the bag, though?

Keep reading...Show less
10 Feng Shui Tips To Improve The Energy In Your Home

While mantras and the dedication to more self-care and health practices are a beautiful way to press reset year-round, a lot of us forget how important it is to nurture our most sacred space. And by that I mean, our homes. While the outside world comes with stresses and responsibilities and chaos, your home very much embodies the eye of the storm. There you find peace, tranquility, and solace. And because it does, you shouldn't be afraid to elevate the way you think about it and how you make it work for you. Dare to do something different as you set your intentions for the rest of the year. Turn your home into a place that takes care of you.

Keep reading...Show less
Free Brittney Griner: What You Should Know About Her Detainment In Russia

It’s been weeks since WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner was arrested in Russia, allegedly for having vape cartridges that contained hash oil (cannabis oil). But the world only found out recently when Russian media released her alleged mugshot. Brittney, one of the world’s best basketball players who’s been playing for Russia’s UMMC Ekaterinburg team during the WNBA off-season since 2015, faces a prison sentence of up to 10 years, if convicted.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Adrienne Banfield-Norris & The Co-Creators Of 'Black Love' On What To Expect From The Final Season

Adrienne Banfield-Norris & The Co-Creators Of 'Black Love' On What To Expect From The Final Season

Couples share their love stories for a finale that inspires and empowers.

Latest Posts