Amanda Gorman’s Reaction To Inauguration Poem Being Banned In Miami –

Amanda Gorman spoke out after her poetry book The Hill We Climb was banned in Miami schools in a lengthy statement on Twitter on Tuesday, May 23. The poet, 25, explained how most  book bans focus on LGBTQ+ and non-white writers, and she explained how removing books from the classroom was a “violation of [students’] right to free thought and free speech.”

A parent to two students at the Bob Graham Education Center filed paperwork, challenging five books, including The Hill We Climb, per Axios. Amanda also tweeted a photo of the report, where the parent falsely attributed the book to Oprah Winfrey. The parent wrote that the book “is not educational and have indirectly hate messages [sic].” A spokesperson for Miami-Dade Public Schools denied that the book had been banned in a statement. “It was determined at the school that “The Hill We Climb” is better suited for middle school students and, it was shelved in the middle school section of the media center,” they said. “The book remains available in the media center.”

While the book was not technically banned, Amanda admitted that it was heartbreaking that the poem, which she also performed at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, was removed from the elementary school section. “I’m gutted. Because of one parent’s complaint, my inaugural poem, The Hill We Climb, has been banned from an elementary school in Miami-Dade County, Florida,” she wrote. “Often all it takes to remove these works from our libraries and schools is a single objection. And let’s be clear: most of the forbidden works are by authors who have struggled for generations to get on bookshelves. The majority of these censored works are by queer and non-white voices.”

Amanda performs her poem at Biden’s inauguration ceremony. (Patrick Semansky/UPI/Shutterstock)

Amanda continued and said that she had heard from countless young people who have shown that they were inspired to write after her. “I wrote The Hill We Climb so that all young people could see themselves in a historical moment. Ever since, I’ve received countless letters and videos from children inspired by The Hill We Climb to write their own poems. Robbing children of the chance to find their voices in literature is a violation of their right to free thought and free speech,” she said.

At the end of her statement, she said that she and her publisher Penguin Random House would join the non-profit PEN America in a lawsuit, filed against Florida’s Escambia County to fight book bans. The organization filed the complaint on May 17. Amanda concluded by invoking her poem, promising to defeat book bans. “Together, this is a hill we won’t just climb, but a hill we will conquer,” she said.

Amanda is one of the most high-profile poets in the country. Besides her inauguration poem, she also performed a piece, celebrating essential workers at the Super Bowl in 2021. She was also a co-chair for the Met Gala in 2021, where she wore a Statue of Liberty-inspired dress. The poet is also preparing to release her children’s book Something, Someday in September.

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