Good morning, LA
There was a lot of lights yesterday inaugural events, from the newly elected president and the elected vice president to Lady Gaga, J. Lo and Garth Brooks.
But among all of them 22-year-old poet Amanda Gorman stood out. With her stunning words and gestures, she rallied Americans around moment of great division to look to the future based on strength, survival and hope:
So, until we once asked, “How could we overcome the catastrophe?”
Now we say, “How could a catastrophe overwhelm us?”
We will not go back to what was, but we will move to what will be
A country that is hurt, but whole
Benevolent but brave, ferocious and free.
Although the world was presented to Gorman yesterday, it was known as a rising star in Los Angeles for years.
A originally from West LAGorman was raised by a single mother and attended School for new roads in Santa Monica. Gorman has described his childhood like “this incredibly strange crossroads in Los Angeles, where it felt like a black hood met with black elegance met white gentrification met Latin culture met wetlands.”
At age 14, Gorman joined WriteGirl, a local non-profit organization that provides writing mentoring to girls and young women. Michelle ChaIne Sinno, who was Gorman’s mentor at WriteGirl for two years, told my colleague Caroline Champlin that the young poet’s talent had always been obvious.
“The way she sees the world is amazing,” she said, “from everyday life to today, talking about democracy.”
Gorman became the first youth poetry laureate in Los Angeles, and later the first national youth poet laureate. And while many heard her words for the first time today, Gorman has always believed in the power of poetry and young people to reach divisions.
“At least we know that poetry is powerful,” she wrote 2014 essay for The Huffington Post. “Youth is powerful. In combination, we produce enough power to change ourselves and change the world. “
Keep reading for more information about what’s happening in Los Angeles today, and stay there safe.
What else you need to know today
Before you go … What’s even a coat?
In its most basic terms, it is an “outer garment worn on the upper body” that varies “in length and style according to fashion and use”. (Thanks, Meriam-Webster.) But between the natural warm weather here in Los Angeles and the warmer winters caused by climate change, many of us who live here may have forgotten how to cover ourselves.
And yet, they were there, in a dazzling range of colors and styles at Joe Biden’s inauguration yesterday as the 46th president of the United States.
So what is this strange garment and who won restrained battle of outerwear at yesterday’s socially distant celebrations?
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