Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman said a security guard followed her and told her she 'looked suspicious' when entering her own building

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Kelsey Vlamis
·2 min read
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Amanda Gorman
American poet Amanda Gorman reads a poem during the 59th Presidential Inauguration of Joe Biden at the US Capitol in Washington DC on January 20, 2021. Patrick Semansky/Pool/AFP
  • Amanda Gorman became an international sensation in January after performing at the Inauguration.

  • On Friday, the poet said she was followed by a security guard who told her she looked "suspicious."

  • After showing him her keys and buzzing into the building, she says he left without apologizing.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Amanda Gorman said Friday that a security guard followed her home because he thought she looked "suspicious."

"A security guard tailed me on my walk home tonight. He demanded if I lived there because 'you look suspicious,'" Gorman said in a tweet.

The 22-year-old poet, who lives in Los Angeles, said she showed him her keys and buzzed herself into her building, prompting the security guard to leave without apologizing to her.

"This is the reality of black girls: One day you're called an icon, the next day, a threat," she said.

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Gorman became an international sensation in January when she became the youngest person to perform a poem at a US presidential inauguration. Her poem, "The Hill We Climb," became one of the most talked-about aspects of the event.

In another tweet about the security guard who questioned her, Gorman said "in a sense, he was right."

"I AM A THREAT: a threat to injustice, to inequality, to ignorance," she said. "Anyone who speaks the truth and walks with hope is an obvious and fatal danger to the powers that be."

Gorman, the first US National Youth Poet Laureate, also performed at the Super Bowl in February, reciting her poem "Chorus of the Captains," which is dedicated to a teacher, an ICU nurse, and a US Marine corps veteran.

Last week, a Dutch poet who was tapped to translate Gorman's work stepped down from the role after criticism that it was inappropriate for a white person to do it.

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