CNN's Anderson Cooper was left speechless yesterday during an exclusive interview with the inauguration poet, Amanda Gorman, following her showstopping performance at President Biden's inauguration.
Read on to hear what she had to say that left Cooper so stunned...
It's well and truly a new era for the United States of America.
Yesterday, President Joe Biden took the oath of office, thus projecting at least 4 years under the rule of the Biden-Harris Administration.
Of course, the suspense surrounding Biden's inauguration has been building for months.
Since President Biden's election victory on November 7th, our country has experienced political tensions like never before.
And this is all thanks to former president, Donald Trump's, reluctance to concede his defeat to Biden in the 2020 election.
Trump instantly attacked Biden's win with several unproven accusations of electoral fraud - and, of course, his loyal supporters added fuel to the flames with gusto.
Trump did everything in his power to fight the election result...
And 2 weeks ago on January 6th, enraged pro-Trumpers took matters into their own hands.
After repeated instructions by Trump to "fight for the White House," hundreds of his supporters stormed the U.S Capitol, during which a joint session of Congress had convened to formally count the Electoral College votes and certify Biden's election win.
So, for yesterday's inauguration ceremony...
Security was tighter than ever before.
Earlier this week, shocking photos from Washington D.C began to emerge...
And they demonstrated just how seriously the authorities were taking the event and the measures put in place to ensure there would be no repeat of the scenes from January 6th.
Well, as we all know, Trump didn't attend the inauguration.
He confirmed his absence in a tweet earlier this month before being banned from Twitter.
Instead, Trump spent the morning leaving the White House with the former first lady, Melania, before he traveled to Florida on Air Force One.
But regardless of Trump's absence, the inauguration went ahead smoothly...
And the entire world watched on as President Biden and his vice president, Kamala Harris, made their way through this sacred ceremony.
Biden's swearing-in was an emotional moment for many Americans...
And it signalled a new era for our country.
And Biden's speech perfectly reflected that...
The new president gave a lengthy and emotional speech, where he addressed the deeply divided nation on what the next 4 years will hold under his ruling.
Biden promised to "write an American story of hope"...
As well as weighing in on the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the issue of racial inequality across the country.
"Millions of jobs have been lost. Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed. A cry for racial justice, some 400 years in the making, moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer. A cry for survival comes from the planet itself, a cry that can't be any more desperate or any more clear now."
President Biden has also become the first POTUS to ever challenge white supremacy in his inauguration speech.
He said, "The rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism, that we must confront and we will defeat."
The president then added:
"To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America, requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy - unity."
The event was also home to a plethora of emotional performances...
From Lady Gaga to Jennifer Lopez, we witnessed some wonderful vocals throughout the inauguration.
But one performance really stood out for a lot of people...
“There is light as long as we are brave enough to see it, there is light as long as we are brave enough to be it” w… https://t.co/2S60a9QxEe— Alyssa Limperis (@Alyssa Limperis)1611163545.0
I can’t help but think that Maya Angelou is looking down from Heaven proud at the #BlackGirlMagic that is Poet Laur… https://t.co/HsPWi7TUwH— AprilDRyan (@AprilDRyan)1611163562.0
Amanda Gorman. What a remarkable talent. That was extraordinary. “It’s not what stands between us, it’s what stands before us.”— Sen. Jeff Jackson (@Sen. Jeff Jackson)1611163587.0
Amanda gorman damn that was where it’s at— Flea (@Flea)1611163580.0
Amanda Gorman was just sensational. What a talent.— Jemele Hill (@Jemele Hill)1611163651.0
Gorman has become the youngest poet ever to perform at an inauguration.
The twenty-two-year-old captured the hearts of people all around the world with her piece on strength and unity.
And now, it seems that she's just captured the heart of CNN's Anderson Cooper!
Shortly after her breathtaking performance at the inauguration, Gorman took part in an interview with Cooper for Anderson Cooper 360° where she described the vision behind the piece, which underlined marching on toward unity, hope, and healing amid a damaged and divided nation.
"I felt like that was the type of poem I needed to write, and I felt like that was the type of poem that the country and the world needed to hear," she said.
Cooper highlighted the final passage of "The Hill We Climb," which he said gave him shivers:
"We will rebuild, reconcile and recover, in every known nook of our nation, in every corner called our country our people diverse and beautiful will emerge, battered and beautiful, when the day comes we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid, the new dawn blooms as we free it, for there is always light if only we're brave enough to see it, if only we're brave enough to be it."
"I'm so glad you brought up the last line," Gorman said in response.
She explained that she ultimately chose "be it" for her conclusion because "hope isn't something that we ask of others, it's something that we have to demand from ourselves."
Cooper then asked Gorman if she could reveal the mantra she says she recites prior to her readings.
"I do it whenever I perform, and I definitely did it this time," she said, "I close my eyes and I say: I am the daughter of Black writers, we are descended from freedom fighters, who broke their chains and changed the world. They call me."
Cooper was clearly left speechless from this beautiful passage...
And in a stunned silence, he managed, "Wow. Um, wow. You're awesome. I'm so transfixed."
You can check out the full interview here:
Poet Amanda Gorman tells CNN's @AndersonCooper that the Capitol riot inspired her to write a "message of hope, inge… https://t.co/g98p9dxhQM— Anderson Cooper 360° (@Anderson Cooper 360°)1611205019.0
And for more on yesterday's events, scroll on...