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Black Women in Poetry

In honor of Women’s History Month and National Poetry Month, I couldn’t think of two better poets to write about than Amanda Gorman and the late Maya Angelou. Maya Angelou was a poet laureate known throughout the world. Amanda Gorman is the first National Youth Poet Laureate.
One thing that these two talented poets have in common is that they both faced racism and discrimination. However, they didn’t allow this adversity to break them. Both women also overcame obstacles in their childhoods. Gorman struggled with a speech impediment, and Angelou was sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend.
Both Angelou and Gorman were selected to recite their poems at the inauguration of a U.S. president. Angelou recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993. In 2021, Gorman, a Harvard graduate, was chosen by Joe Biden to recite her poem “The Hill We Climb” at his inauguration.
With the encouragement of her mentor, author James Baldwin, Angelou wrote her first autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which was published in 1969. Angelou wrote 36 books in her life, and 30 of them were on the New York Times bestseller list.
Gorman published three books in the year 2021. The Hill We Climb is a published version of the poem she read at Biden’s inauguration. Call Us What We Carry is a poetry collection, and Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem is a children’s book.

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