Michelle Obama Interviews Poet Amanda Gorman for Time Magazine
The young poet laureate and Harvard graduate is shining brightly.
Amanda Gorman keeps making headlines. The 22-year-old youth poet laureate covers the new issue of Time magazine, in which she speaks to former First Lady Michelle Obama about her fame and success. Gorman recently signed a modeling contract with IMG Models after wowing audiences when she read her poem "The Hill We Climb" at President Joe Biden's inauguration in January. Her children's book Change Sings also reached the top of Amazon's best-seller list, and she will read one of her poems at the 2021 Super Bowl pregame show.
In the new interview, Gorman reflects on her "astronomical life change," and admits it "took a lifetime, and it took a village" to get to this point. The young star confessed she had to get over her self-doubt after becoming the center of media attention. "As someone with a speech impediment, that imposter syndrome has always been exacerbated because there's the concern, 'Is the content of what I'm saying good enough?' And then the additional fear: 'Is the way I'm saying it good enough?'" she said.
The writer added that "speaking in public as a Black girl is already daunting enough, just coming onstage with my dark skin and my hair and my race." Although she said she feels like she's still learning to live under the spotlight, she is grateful to represent other women of color.
"I would say anyone who finds themselves suddenly visible and suddenly famous, think about the big picture," Gorman advised. "Especially for girls of color, we're treated as lightning or gold in the pan — we're not treated as things that are going to last. You really have to crown yourself with the belief that what I'm about and what I'm here for is way beyond this moment. I'm learning that I am not lightning that strikes once. I am the hurricane that comes every single year, and you can expect to see me again soon."
Time shared the stunning new cover with Gorman on its Instagram account, and Gorman also expressed her excitement on social media. "Wow, thank you @time for letting me grace the cover of your new special issue, 'The Black Renaissance,'" she wrote. "Created in collaboration with [writer Ibram X. Kendi], the issue includes a conversation between me and former First Lady @michelleobama. So proud to be part of an issue that highlights so many Black artists I've looked up to for years. As the edition says: 'THE RENAISSANCE IS BLACK.'"
She also chatted with the former First Lady, 57, about this important moment for the Black community. She feels we're experiencing "an important moment in Black art because we're living in an important moment in Black life." Being part of this movement makes her proud. "Whether that's looking at what it means politically to have an African American president before Trump, or looking at what it means to have the Black Lives movement become the largest social movement in the United States," she said. "What's been exciting for me is I get to absorb and to live in that creation I see from other African American artists that I look up to."
This Black renaissance is taking the world by storm. "We're seeing it in fashion, we're seeing it in the visual arts," she continued. "We're seeing it in dance, we're seeing it in music. In all the forms of expression of human life, we're seeing that artistry be informed by the Black experience. I can't imagine anything more exciting than that."