How to Celebrate Amanda Gorman Without Being Weird About It

Kelli María Korducki
Published in
2 min readJan 21, 2021

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

In a presidential inauguration ceremony that solidified the end of a bitter four years, and that saw the swearing in of America’s first Black — and female and South Asian and non-White, period—vice president, it was the Black 22-year-old poet Amanda Gorman who stole the show.

Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in history, offered an invocation to optimism that skirted patriotic revisionism. Instead, her words called upon the nation to summon hope amid darkness and, above all, to put in the work required for repair: “There is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”

So, for anyone who needs it, here’s how to stan Amanda Gorman without being weird about it.

The tweeter known as @retro2go provides a good, high-level directive. In short, don’t treat the young poet like a superhuman rarity or, say, preemptively nominate her to run for office. Flattery has a tendency to slide into dehumanization faster than you can say “Michelle Obama for president!” (Please don’t, though.) In other words, let the woman live her life.

From there, follow the sage words of writer Kadeen Griffiths: “Support Black writers today and every day.” Griffiths goes on to suggest a number of Black women authors, with new and forthcoming projects worthy of supporting, in this tweet thread.

Arguably, the best way to celebrate Gorman is to amplify her inaugural message and abide by the challenge therein—as Jessica Valenti writes in GEN, to “do our best to be the light.” And, one might add, to do so not-weirdly.

Read more about Amanda Gorman here:

Kelli María Korducki

Writer, editor. This is where I post about ideas, strategies, and the joys of making an NYC-viable living as a self-employed creative.