Biden/Harris Inauguration Ushers in a New Era

“But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated.” – Amanda Gorman (from her poem “The Hill We Climb”)

photo: AP News

Angel Benjamin, Co-Editor-in-Chief

photo: The New York Times
photo: CTV News







A wave of historic moments took place on January 20, 2021 in the midst of the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden. On the day that Biden swore an oath to his country to lead and not waver as the 46th President of the United States, the eyes of the nation and the world were not only on the new president but also on the face of his second in command, Kamala Harris, the first female and first Black and South Asian-American Vice President of the United States. 

In addition to witnessing the swearing-in of both Biden and Harris, viewers were treated to other moments that will be long remembered. One of those moments was the gripping words of the youngest ever inaugural poet, twenty-two-year-old Amanda Gorman, whose words were heard around the globe. In an original piece that she wrote for the inauguration, “The Hills We Climb,” Gorman laid out a vision for the nation’s future that immediately provided a shift in the hopes and promises of people who hope to move forward after a tumultuous era in the nation’s history.

Already, President Biden has begun making drastic changes to structures put in place by the previous administration of President Trump. President Biden has already signed a number of executive actions, including several that clearly revoke Trump policies. These orders include a national mandate for masks inside buildings and on federal lands, a directive to the Department of Education for a plan to safely reopen schools, and several aimed at the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the executive orders, President Biden also rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement and ended the travel ban placed on a few majority-Muslim countries.

Some Paint Branch students and faculty have high expectations for the Biden/Harris administration. Senior Gabriel Garraway is confident that they will “unite the country together” and “bring a new aura around the nation.” 

Junior Alishba Zarrar knows that the president will “pull through” and “fix the corruption as much as he can.”

While they are hopeful, many also believe that the tasks that face the country run deeper under the surface, and thus require both the efforts of the Americans and the Biden administration. Social Studies teacher Mrs. Jennifer Walker notes that the problem in the nation is “multifaceted” which means that the new leaders will have to “dismantle and reassemble some aspects piece-by-piece” because, in reality, the “small pieces make up the big picture.”

Paint Branch High School Principal Afie Mirshah-Nayar recounts that her family immigrated to the United States in 1970 to obtain the “American promise” of a better life, which she knows is bigger than “any one president or administration.” However, she believes that the American people are “strong enough to rise to the challenge” of ensuring that the nation’s promise is delivered.

As the new President and Vice-President begin their first week in office, they carry not only the weight of the entire country but also the responsibility of the nation’s future.