Amanda Gorman says security guard confronted her, saying she looked ‘suspicious’

“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.”

In this file photo dated Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, American poet Amanda Gorman recites a poem during the Inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, USA.
In this file photo dated Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, American poet Amanda Gorman recites a poem during the Inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, USA. –(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, FILE)

Amanda Gorman, who became a national sensation when she delivered a stirring poem at President Joe Biden’s inauguration in January, said Friday that a security guard had followed her home and told her she looked suspicious.

“A security guard tailed me on my walk home tonight,” Gorman wrote on Twitter. “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.”

Gorman said in another tweet: “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.”

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Gorman, 22, who is from Los Angeles, did not immediately respond to a message sent through her website Friday night. She is the youngest inaugural poet ever in the United States and was named the United States’ first youth poet laureate in 2017, when she was a student at Harvard.

At Biden’s inauguration, she drew widespread acclaim when she recited, in a voice filled with clarity and emotion, “The Hill We Climb” in front of the sunlit Capitol, just days after a violent mob of Trump supporters had laid siege to the building as Congress met to certify the results of the presidential election.

In the poem, Gorman spoke of “striving to forge a union with purpose, to compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.” She described her background as a “skinny Black girl, descended from slaves and raised by a single mother,” who can dream of being president one day, “only to find herself reciting for one.”

After the inauguration, IMG Models, which represents supermodels including Alek Wek, Paloma Elsesser and Joan Smalls, announced that it would represent Gorman for fashion and beauty endorsements.

And “Good Morning America” broke the news that Gorman would recite an original poem at the Super Bowl preshow, which she did in February.

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