After Incident, Amanda Gorman Tweets on 'Reality of Black Girls'

Inaugural poet, 22, says she was racially profiled by security guard who told her she looked 'suspicious'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2021 6:30 AM CST
Inaugural Poet: I Was Racially Profiled, Told I Looked 'Suspicious'
In this file photo dated Jan. 20, 2021, American poet Amanda Gorman recites a poem during the inauguration of Joe Biden at the US Capitol in Washington.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, FILE)

At 22 years old, Amanda Gorman has already racked up accomplishments that some take a lifetime to achieve: She was named the first ever Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles in 2014 and the first National Youth Poet Laureate in the US in 2017, and in January she served as the inaugural poet at Joe Biden's swearing-in, reciting her acclaimed "The Hill We Climb." On Friday night, however, Gorman revealed an incident that acknowledged another "reality" in her life, per the New York Times. "A security guard tailed me on my walk home tonight," Gorman tweeted. "He demanded if I lived there because 'you look suspicious.'" The Harvard graduate said after she dug out her keys and buzzed herself in, the guard left, without saying he was sorry.

"This is the reality of black girls: One day you're called an icon, the next day, a threat," Gorman added. Her post soon went viral, reports ABC News. "Let this story sink in," Virginia state lawmaker Mark Keam tweeted after catching wind of it, per the BBC. "And realize how—while I'm glad it ended safe for @TheAmandaGorman—this type of confrontation is an every day occurrence for millions of our fellow Americans." In a follow-up tweet, Gorman noted of the security guard: "In a sense, he was right. I AM A THREAT: a threat to injustice, to inequality, to ignorance. Anyone who speaks the truth and walks with hope is an obvious and fatal danger to the powers that be." (Read more Amanda Gorman stories.)

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