Hello from New Hampshire! I’m Kylie, and spend most of my time pursuing my education at Southern New Hampshire University. Some of you have already met me online since I am working for Jayme’s Fund this year. I hope to meet some of you in person soon! One of my responsibilities at JF is to keep in touch with Jayme’s Fund friends through social media and blogging, so here goes with my first blog piece! I recently had a school assignment referencing Amanda Gorman’s poem “The Hill We Climb” which she performed during the presidential inauguration. My assignment was to share my reaction to the poem as well as why I thought it was important that she was the one who performed the piece.
I was blown away the first time I heard Gorman’s poem. I was moved by her ability to reflect on such a traumatic event as the capitol riot and convey a positive and uplifting message of hope. While there is hope, she also reflected the troubling issues that our nation continues to face and need to be addressed. Gorman voiced, “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 is only we dare, it’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit. It’s the past we stepped into and how we repair it.” I hope that one day we will not be so divided as a people, and that we can commit to the pursuit of transformation to repair, unify, and grow as a nation.
After the horrible passing of George Floyd in June, the Black Lives Matter movement fully organized to protest the injustices that people of color continue to experience in our present day. Gorman is an inspiration to those young, impressionable children who experience racism at a very young age, feeling as if they are not good enough just because of their race. She proclaimed “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.” In having her perform at the inauguration, she inspired all children of color, and hopefully all of us as well, to become more aware and contribute toward respect, opportunity and human rights for all.
Gorman’s performance greatly inspired me. I hope her words ring true and we continue to move forward as a country, united as one. I continue to do my part by educating myself, becoming more aware of systemic racism, and treating everyone with dignity and respect, as we all should.
Listen to Gorman’s entire speech below.