Amanda Gorman Says She Was Racially Profiled By A Security Guard

by Julie Scagell
Amanda Gorman tweet
Rob Carr/Getty Images, Amanda Gorman/Twitter

Gorman said a security guard followed her to her apartment because she looked ‘suspicious’

Amanda Gorman, who became a household name after she recited a powerful poem at President Biden’s inauguration in January, took to social media to tell her followers that she was racially profiled by a security guard who followed her home and told her she “looked suspicious.”

“A security guard tailed me on my walk home tonight,” Gorman wrote on Instagram and 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 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. Millions fell in love with her as she recited, “The Hill We Climb,” about our country’s racial and political divisions, in front of the Capitol at Biden’s inauguration. His inauguration took place just days after a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the building as Congress gathered to certify the results of the presidential election.

Since the inauguration, Gorman landed a contract with IMG Models, an agency that represents model Gigi Hadid, Kate Moss, Gisele Bündchen, and many others. She also performed during this year’s Super Bowl — also a first for a poet — reading a poem that recognized an educator, a nurse, and a veteran for helping their communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Gorman’s two books have also become the top two best sellers on Amazon, and she’s appeared Ellen to share more insight into her work. She explained to CNN’s Anderson Cooper that she drew inspiration from the works of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln while she was writing her Inauguration Day poem, saying in part, “What it did is it energized me even more, to believe that much more firmly in a message of hope and unity and healing. I felt that was the type of poem I needed to write, and it was the type of poem that the country and the world needed to hear.”

“In a sense, he was right,” Gorman continued on social media of the incident. “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.”

White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor wrote on Twitter of Gorman’s encounter: “Amanda Gorman’s experience is that of so many black people. Happy she made it home safely. So many others don’t.”