Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Learn & Unlearn: Anti-racism Resource Guide

Lesson 3: Black HER-itage: Rita Dove and Amanda Gorman

Original post on @saic.maffairs forthcoming.

Black HER-itage: Rita Dove

Image of Rita DoveRita Dove is most known for her lyricism and beauty of her poems, as well as its sense of history and political scope. Dove is also an acclaimed lyricist, and in addition to music, her work appears in plays and fiction. Rita Dove believes that authors shouldn't be constricted to a specific genre, “I’m a writer, and I write in the form that most suits what I want to say.” Dove has had a tremendous impact on American letters and was named US poet laureate in 1993. Just 40 years old at the time of her appointment, Dove was the youngest poet ever elected to the position. She was also the first African American to hold the title. Since her appointment, poet laureates serve as a mandate for generating public interest in the literary arts.1

Quote

“don't think you can ever forget her
don't even try
she's not going to budge

no choice but to grant her space
crown her with sky
for she is one of the many
and she is each of us”
― Rita Dove, On the Bus With Rosa Parks

To Read

To Listen

To Watch

  • Chisholm '72 - Unbought and Unbossed,” Shola Lynch, Women Make Movies [Documentary, trailer and clip below]

Black HER-itage Today: Amanda Gorman

Image of Amanda Gorman speaking.Born and raised in Los Angeles, Amanda Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history. Amanda’s writing began at a young age and continued all the way to Harvard University where she graduated Summa cum Laude. Most recently, Amanda recited her poem, “The Hill We Climb” at the inauguration of the 46th President Joe Biden. In addition to many performances, Amanda wrote for the New York Times, and penned the manifesto for Nike's 2020 Black History Month campaign. Upcoming, expect three books of her work from Penguin Random House.2 Amanda’s art and activism focus on issues of oppression, feminism, race, and marginalization, as well as the African diaspora. She’s the Founder and Executive Director of One Pen One Page, which promotes literacy through free creative writing programming for underserved youth.3

Quote

“While we might feel small, separate, and all alone, our people have never been more tightly tethered. The question’s not if we will weather this unknown, but how we will weather the unknown together.” - Amanda Gorman, The Miracle of Morning

To Read

Change Sings, Amanda Gorman, 2021 [Book]
The Hill We Climb And Other Poems, Amanda Gorman, 2021 [Book]

To Listen

To Watch

Sources

Image Sources

Works Cited

  1. “Rita Dove,” Poetry Foundation, accessed Jan 28, 2021.
  2. Amanda Gorman, “Amanda Gorman: Wordsmith. Change-maker,” accessed Jan 28, 2021.
  3. Amanda Gorman”, Poetry Foundation, accessed Jan 28, 2021.