For the Americans that wanted to see Donald Trump leave the Whitehouse, this inauguration ceremony couldn’t come fast enough. The last few years for the United States have been quite turbulent, and for 2020, America saw ugly scenes all year round spanning various sections of the country’s structure.
The man amidst it all intended to run again for Presidency, and many Americans decided they had had enough at the polls. They elected Joe Biden President, with Vice President Kamala Harris. But even though the polls had elected Joe Biden, the drama with Donald Trump continued.
For the past couple of weeks, however, it is his followers who have thrown the States into Chaos, much to the amusement of onlookers. But all the moments of panic, pain, distress, hatred, disgust all fell to the background when the inauguration day finally came. When they’d say goodbye to Donald Trump for good.
The ceremony delivered many headlines, as the former president and his wife, Barack and Michelle Obama graced the occasion with absolute pizzazz in their fashion presentation. They weren’t the only ones. Bernie Sanders’ pose of a man just here to see it and get on with his life as normal as it looked has gone viral on the internet.
Biden’s wife, Kamala Harris, and all other dignitaries didn’t fail in showing up in their appearances. But, whilst fashion enthusiasts and onlookers focused on the fashion on display at the ceremony, a 5-minute poetry recital by 23-year-old Amanda Gorman stole the show.
For context, she is the first to be named National Youth Poet Laureate and is the youngest, joining a well-decorated list of Winston Churchill, Wole Soyinka and the likes. Her poetry and activism have focused on oppression, feminism, race, and marginalization. And for a poet, you won’t get many stages bigger than this to deliver something that could be a defining moment in history and on the internet.
Amanda barely flinched as she flawlessly delivered her 5-minute piece, and afterward, the surge in searches follows, and comments online boiled over. Notable amongst those were Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey patting the young poet on her back for her message, her delivery, and her confidence.
For many people, it was a mere performance part of the order of ceremonies. But if you’ve heard this famous quote from Andrew Fletcher, a Scottish Activist, it would make more sense:
Let me make the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws. Give me the making of a people’s songs, and I care not who makes its laws.
That a nation thrives on mere logic, structures, and reasoning is ultimately far from the truth. For a place like the States, we see the hand of art and culture shaping the nation. It is not a surprise that they hold celebrities in higher regard than politicians and leaders in government.
These celebrities usually scale to the top mainly because of their craft and art forms and have a say, to a degree in the things that happen in a nation. A tweet from one celebrity could mean they stand with the people and are joint voices with them to have a massive impact on movements. It is something that we have lost here in Ghana and Africa as a whole.
The realization that the arts and the culture hold a similar power to politics is one that puts a nation on a different route to development. Until we realize that, the influence will be choked and killed, and the arts can never have an impact on the country and the people.
Food for thought. Below is a copy of the powerful, flawless poetry delivered by Amanda Gorman.