Letter to my role model, Ms. Amanda Gorman,
I wasn’t looking for a role model on January 20th-I was looking for history. I received both.
In primary colors that couldn’t compare to the melanin on display, you stood with confidence and strength that I aspire to embody. The way the words of your mouth traveled through the movements in your hands commanded my attention and left me in awe. A young woman, hardly older than I, stood among the elected officials of our nation and commanded their attention. With every rhyme and phrase, I clung to your words and awaited for each subsequent verse. “For there is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.” You ended your poem. You began a legacy.
I see you take a concept so broad and summarize it for the country to hear. I think back to my own spoken word poems, never truly grasping how much they could impact others. I see you take a speech impediment and take control over your voice. I think back to my own challenges, reflecting on what I believed was holding me back from accomplishing my goals. I see a stylish, successful black woman. I think about my own dressed up attire, considering that I can change the world in a pair of black heeled knee-high boots. In you, I see myself-someone I could be, in my own respect.
A black girl was mesmerized by your style, your grace, your words, and she saw herself-I saw myself. A self that I can be if I was only brave enough to see it. A self that I can be if I was only brave enough to be it.
You are light. You are brave. Amanda Gorman, you are a role model.