Revisiting “The Hill We Climb” | Facing History & Ourselves
National youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman recites her inaugural poem during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)

Revisiting “The Hill We Climb”

Amanda Gorman's poem speaks to a shared American experience that resonates with youth and inspires hope. 

On Tuesday, May 23, 2023, The Hill We Climb by National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman made national news when a Florida school added it to its list of restricted books for elementary school students. Written for President Biden’s inauguration, the inspiring poem presents themes of hope, healing, and a move toward unity. 

These themes are as relevant today as they were in 2021 when Gorman became the youngest inaugural poet in United States history. In a statement issued on her social media accounts, Gorman said she wrote the poem “so that young people could see themselves in a historical moment.” 

As historically significant literature, including Gorman’s poem, becomes more difficult for some students to access, Facing History & Ourselves remains committed to preparing educators to incorporate them into their curriculum  through a lens of civic agency. 

We invite you to revisit our mini-lesson, Reflecting on Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb”, with your students to help them consider how their unique experiences and voices can help America “forge a union with purpose.” 

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