Advertisement

20/20

Before poet prodigy Amanda Gorman stunned the audience at Joe Biden's presidential inauguration with a live reading of her piece "The Hill We Climb," she had a vocal hurdle to overcome.

In an exclusive clip of Amanda Gorman: Brave Enough With Robin Roberts — A Special Edition of 20/20, the recent Met Gala co-host reveals to the Good Morning America co-anchor, "I had a speech impediment from kind of the moment I could remember, and my mom was always really incredible in saying if anyone asks you why you speak this way, just tell them you were born this way." 

It wasn't until she was older that Gorman started to pick up on some people's reaction to the way she'd speak, causing her to ask herself, "Wow, should I be embarrassed? Should I be afraid?" She adds, "I've been speaking this way all my life, but for some reason, people are treating me as if I'm less intelligent."

The author of upcoming children's book Change Sings explains that she "had to work really hard for years and years and years and years" until she could pronounce words with "r" sounds, and shares that rapping along to one particular song from the Broadway musical Hamilton, titled "Aaron Burr, Sir," became her training regimen.

"It just compacts that sound over and over again," notes Gorman. "I would listen to the track of 'Aaron Burr, Sir,' and try to do it over and over and over again, and I told myself, 'If you can do this song, you can speak this sound wherever.'"

Amanda Gorman: Brave Enough with Robin Roberts — A Special Edition of 20/20 airs Wednesday, Sept. 15 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

Related content:

20/20

type
  • TV Show
seasons
  • 43
rating
genre
network
  • ABC

Comments