GREENVILLE, S.C. — The Hill We Climb.
“My favorite line is, 'If only we're brave enough to see it, if only we're brave enough to be it,'" South Carolina Governor's School for Arts and Humanities Youjae Daniels said.
The 22-year-old's words are inspiring the nation.
Even students like Junior Youjaye Daniels, who wrote her own version.
“When I first saw Amanda I was like this is me, this girl looks just like me," Daniels said.
The Rock Hill native attends the South Carolina Governor's School for Arts and Humanities in Greenville South Carolina.
For a class assignment, she was told to analyze Gorman’s poem and then translate it into her own words.
“I just was so in awe and so appreciative of her being the vessel and being that vessel for many girls and many other writers and artists," Daniels said. “I had to ask myself what do I want to see in this nation and that’s when words just started coming and I was just like yeah this is it."
“What I hope people take from my poem is that there’s always a chance to start over again there’s always a possibility of exceeding expectations," Daniels said.
Welcome, New America!
“And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us,” I heard her say. Her bright yellow coat, her beautiful brown skin that beamed brightly as she spoke to the world. Her quickly became me, we, us. And as I watched the first National Youth Poet Laureate, I had to ask myself what does this message mean for our country? Where do we go from here? What stands before us is an opportunity not to finish what we’ve started, but completely be born again—a rebirth that may not come with a do over. Do over-estimate. Do over-compensate. Do over-prepare for delivery day because like a newborn child, we must be pulled out of the foundation this country was built upon. We must allow the body of true democracy to push, and allow justice and freedom to pull, and when WE arrive, we must drink from the breasts—the milk of exceptionalism and unity because that will be what is expected for us to continue to grow. And we will have to learn to feed ourselves, we will have to learn to see color, we will have to learn to crawl together, we will have to learn how to stand together hand and hand, and before we climb, we must walk together. We will have to teach ourselves just and unjust. We will have to learn how to build a nation that will rise out of the ash of -isms to reach healing and restoration without neglecting our past. For there is always hope. “For there is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it,” she said. The delicacy of this possibility makes it cherishable. It requires a people— not a person—to become one species without coloring coding, one fetus, growing in a new era, and being born into a new nation where our ambitions don’t just change our world, but use us as a world changer."