The 22-year-old recited her poem, The Hill We Climb, with the fitting line: “While democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently denied.”
As she told Americans watching at home, her prose summoned images both dire and triumphant: ‘Even as we grieved, we grew.’
Ms. Gorman referred to Hamilton from Biblical scripture, and also repeated John F Kennedy’s oratory and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Ms Gorman, who is from Los Angeles, describes herself to her 800,000 Instagram followers as a “poet, writer and dreamer”. She says she plans to run for president in 2036.
She fought a speech impediment as a child, but on Wednesday, the poet spoke with power, clarity and poise on the steps of the U.S. Capitol – just two weeks after a violent mob laid siege with Confederate flags, pipe bombs and a noose to the seat of America’s government.
She told the country, and the world, in her address that Americans should rise above hate.
She said, “We will not march back to what was. We move to what shall be, a country that is bruised, but whole. Benevolent, but bold. Fierce and free.”
Raised by her mother, Joan Wicks, a teacher, she has two brothers, including an activist twin sister.
Luthern Williams, her former head teacher, told Sky News that Amanda was destined for greatness.
Amanda is unbelievably motivated, but the strength of Amanda is that she is driven to change the world.
“It’s hard to put into words how proud I am of what she’s been able to do.”
She moved to Harvard from school in Santa Monica and studied sociology.
After watching a speech by Pakistani Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, she was inspired by her studies to become a youth delegate to the United Nations in 2013, and a year later, she was elected as the Los Angeles Youth Poet Laureate.
She then took the national crown in 2017, being elected the first US National Poet Laureate for Youth.
She became the first young poet to open the Library of Congress literary season, and she read her poetry on MTV.
Ms Gorman caught the attention of Dr Jill Biden at the Library of Congress, who asked her to compose an original poem for her husband’s swearing-in ceremony.