Amanda Gorman Says a Security Guard ‘Tailed’ Her on Her Way Home

Culture

Amanda Gorman, the 2021 inaugural poet, tweeted on Friday that she had been racially profiled on her way home by a security guard.

“A security guard tailed me on my walk home tonight,” she wrote. “He demanded if I lived there because ‘you look suspicious.’ I showed my keys & buzzed myself into my building. He left, no apology. This is the reality of black girls: One day you’re called an icon, the next day, a threat.”

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When she shared the tweet on Instagram, she captioned it, “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.”

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On Feb. 14, Gorman shared a Washington Post piece by Nneka McGuire about the power of Gorman’s “meteoric rise” following her Inauguration Day and Super Bowl poems.

“Wow, a fantastic @washingtonpost piece by @nnekamcguire,” she wrote. “We live in a contradictory society that can celebrate a black girl poet & also pepper spray a 9 yr old. Yes see me, but also see all other black girls who’ve been made invisible. I can not, will not, rise alone.”

In an early February interview with Michelle Obama for TIME, both Obama and Gorman shared the imposter syndrome they feel as public figures.

“Speaking in public as a Black girl is already daunting enough, just coming onstage with my dark skin and my hair and my race—that in itself is inviting a type of people that have not often been welcomed or celebrated in the public sphere,” Gorman said.

This week, Gorman shared that she had just held the book edition of The Hill We Climb book for the first time.

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“So excited for this special edition to hit the shelves this March 30th, right in time for World Poetry Day,” she wrote.

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