Amanda Gorman reveals security guard followed her home and said she looked ‘suspicious’

‘One day you’re called an icon, the next day, a threat,’ says poet who performed at Biden inauguration

James Crump
Saturday 06 March 2021 13:43 GMT

Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman’s amazing ceremony reading

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Poet Amanda Gorman has revealed that she was racially profiled outside her Los Angeles apartment after a security guard followed her home.

Gorman, 22, who came to national attention after she performed her poem “The Hill We Climb” at Joe Biden’s inauguration earlier this year, disclosed the incident in a post on Twitter on Friday evening.

“A security guard tailed me on my walk home tonight. He demanded if I lived there because ‘you look suspicious.’ I showed my keys & buzzed myself into my building,” Gorman wrote.

“He left, no apology. This is the reality of black girls: One day you’re called an icon, the next day, a threat.”

In a follow-up post, Gorman said the incident was indicative of the situation Black women face across the US on a daily basis.

Gorman added on Instagram: “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. A threat and proud.”

Gorman also shared one of her tweets from last month where she criticised a “contradictory society” for celebrating her achievements but allowing police to “pepper spray a 9 yr old”, in reference to an incident in Rochester, New York, in February.

The 22-year-old, who was named the first US National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017, made history on 20 January when she became the youngest person to perform at a presidential inauguration.

During her powerful performance, Gorman called for unity and spoke of her experience growing up as a “skinny Black girl descended from slaves” who dreamed of becoming president “only to find herself reciting for one”.

The poet spoke of “striving to forge a union with purpose, to compose a country committed to all cultures, colours, characters and conditions of man”, adding: “We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be: a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free.”

Following her performance, Gorman went on to perform at the Super Bowl and was signed by IMG Models.

The Independent has contacted Gorman for comment.

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