On Inauguration Day, January 20, 2021, my warrior instincts rose within as I clung to each word of Amanda Gorman’s poem, “The Hill We Climb.” The tears  her poem evoked warmed my cheeks as I watched her tiny vessel transform into a fearless warrior. Consequently, I am stepping out of the shade and into the light to face this poetry challenge. I climb this mountain because Amanda Gorman launched the ascent to reach her own summit.

voice laced with courage
fearless as she climbed her hill
she silenced the world.

I have had this unbridled flame that has been blazing deep down in my core to create a piece honoring strong Black women. Did I say Black women? Nah, my mistake, I meant freedom fighting warriors, whose roots have been anointed with the blood of their ancestors. Their purpose is to lift the minds of those trapped in a state of bondage. To use their weapons to break the chains of life to rise beyond their plight.

freedom warrior
rooted with ancestral blood
aiming for new heights.

Amanda Gorman embodied the fierceness of a freedom fighting warrior. She used her greatest weapon, her words, as she boldly chanted and urged those listening to weather the storm, fight the beast, and rise above their fears. She shone as a beacon of light as she injected hope into our hearts and minds on Inauguration Day. She has set the foundation for other warriors to recognize their light and use their voices to sing their own songs of freedom.

a beacon of hope
she sang songs of redemption
to help nations rise.

In 1993, Maya Angelou planted her roots on the stage of Capitol Hill. In 2021, Amanda Gorman climbed the hill and nourished herself with the fruits from Maya’s trees. Ingrained with the strength from ancestors’ past, Amanda recited her vision of hope for future generations. With courage she sang her song of freedom as she declared not to relive past burdens, but instead to look forward to future achievements, as therein lies our legacy. A legacy of a nation embedded with love, unity, and abundance.

freedom chants of strength
calls to repair past burdens
and unite as one.

According to Sojourner Truth in Ain’t I A Woman, “If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back and get it right side up again!”

Black women become the backbone and the roots of wherever they plant their feet. Amanda Gorman stood on top of the hill implanted with Maya Angelou’s roots, and planted her own seeds. In front of the world’s stage, she transformed into a freedom warrior, and bravely sang her redemption song of hope. Her powerful voice and unmatched courage brought nations to their feet.

in front of nations
with unwavering strength
Amanda climbed her hill,
with her powerful voice
and unmatched depth
Maya planted her solid foundation,
ingrained with ancestors’ blood
their trees rooted on top of the hill
will forever sing songs of freedom,
—phenomenally.

On January 20, 2021, I witnessed the birth of a freedom-fighting warrior, Amanda Gorman, who emerged and issued a call to action for the people of our diverse nation to recognize their light and rise out of the darkness.

My questions to you: Are you brave enough to see your light? Are you brave enough to be the light?



Top photo: Amanda Gorman recites her inaugural poem, "The Hill We Climb," during the 59th Presidential Inauguration ceremony in Washington, Jan. 20, 2021. Photo by Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff at Flickr. Source.

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