2021 Inauguration: One for the history books by Amanda K. Edwards

Feb 1, 2021 | Uncategorized

By Amanda K. Edwards

amanda gorman GHWCC | Greater Houston Women's Chamber of Commerce

American poet Amanda Gorman reads a poem during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington DC on January 20, 2021. Source Patrick Semansky/AFP

“For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it. . . ”  Amanda Gorman, The National Youth Poet Laureate, recited so powerfully after I had just witnessed history being made with Vice President Kamala Harris’ oath.

History was made at this Inauguration, as the first Black American, the first Asian-American, and the first woman to serve as Vice President of the United States was sworn in by the first Latina Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, using Thurgood Marshall’s Bible. When it came to this glass ceiling, Vice President Harris was brave enough to be the light that Gorman described in her moving poem.

Many Americans were moved to tears as they looked on from their living rooms as Black History was being made in front of their eyes. Our new Vice President does not take lightly that she stands on the shoulders of so many that have come before her (from Fannie Lou Hamer to Shirley Chisholm) who have persistently hit and made cracks in the glass ceiling that Vice President Harris managed to shatter. This milestone achievement towards Black History and access to opportunity is not just a marker for history. Rather, it will inspire the next generation to pursue their boldest dreams of becoming whatever their hearts desire, no matter their gender or the color of their skin, and to be brave enough to be the light as Gorman described.