SAN ANTONIO – She astonished people across the world during the presidential inauguration, with her brilliant rhetoric and inspirational spoken word.
Amanda Gorman, 22, recited her poem, “The Hill We Climb” at President Joe Biden’s inauguration last week.
“Amanda Gorman, what a revelation for all of us really, she’s such an incredible talent,” Shokare Nakpodia, founder of DreamVoice said.
DreamVoice is the organization that puts on DreamWeek in San Antonio and is dedicated to advancing the voice of tolerance, equality and diversity.
Google announced that Amanda Gorman was one to the top five searches of the inauguration.
“I always say that one of the under estimated assets of America is the genius within the African American community,” Nakpodia said.
He said the platform Gorman was given and her message really resonated with people, especially young people of color.
Nakpodia said in Gorman’s poem she talks about America not being a finished product. He said that message was very crucial.
“I think that allows for young people to be part of it,” Nakpodia said. “That we have founding fathers, but those founding fathers need daughters, sons, cousins, the people who can be part of this growth that America is.”
Nakpodia said as a community we also need to be willing to listen and give future Amanda Gorman’s a platform to be heard.
“We also might have Amanda’s on the south side of San Antonio and on the East side of San Antonio. So how can we create channels where they can blossom and they can reveal themselves?” Nakpodia said.
For example, San Antonio has its own poet laureate, Andre “Vocab” Sanderson, who performed at several events at DreamWeek.
But most importantly, Nakpodia said you can find more Amanda Gormans not just in spoken word. He also believes that you must be willing to open your mind and hearts to their messages.
“It’s not necessarily just the written version of it, it can be in music, it can be in the arts as well. We need to be very careful that’s it’s not just in the arts,” Nakpodia said.