Poet Amanda Gorman Covers TIME’s Black Renaissance Issue

“We’re living in an important moment in Black art because we’re living in an important moment in Black life,” Gorman says.

On February 4, TIME unveiled their latest covering featuring inaugural poet and author Amanda Gorman. For the issue, the history making 22-year-old speaks with former first lady Michelle Obama.

“We’re here to talk about the current renaissance in Black art—this surge of creativity we’ve seen over the past six years or so,” Obama begins one question. “What do you make of calling this period a ‘renaissance’? And where do you see yourself within it?,” she then poses.

Gorman responds with, “We’re living in an important moment in Black art because we’re living in an important moment in Black life. Whether that’s looking at what it means politically to have an African-­American President before Trump, or looking at what it means to have the Black Lives movement become the largest social movement in the United States.”

She then added, “What’s been exciting for me is I get to absorb and to live in that creation I see from other African-­American artists that I look up to. But then I also get to create art and participate in that historical record…. In all the forms of expression of human  life, we’re seeing that artistry be informed by the Black experience. I can’t imagine anything more exciting than that.”

Fashion styling for the cover was done by Jason Bolden; makeup by Autumn Moultrie—The Wall Group; dress by Greta Constantine. The image was shot by Awol Erizku.

The issue also features 25 definitive works from The Black Renaissance chosen by esteemed panelists, including: author Ibram X. Kendi, Golden Globe-winning director Ava Duvernay, filmmaker dream hampton, Oscar-winner Matthew Cherry, ‘Sylvie’s Love’ star Tessa Thompson, comedians Desus Nice and The Kid Mero and more.

On February 7, Gorman will make history as the first person to ever perform an original poem at the Superbowl.

The Feb. 15/Feb. 22, 2021 issue of TIME is on sale as of Friday, February 5. 

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