Poet Amanda Gorman says she was profiled by security outside her apartment

Samantha Kubota
·2 min read

Poet Amanda Gorman said she was racially profiled outside her apartment when a security guard tailed her on her walk home.

Though she did not disclose where the incident happened in her post to her social media Friday night, Gorman's Twitter profile lists her location as Los Angeles.

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"He demanded if I lived there because 'you look suspicious.' I showed my keys & buzzed myself into my building," she wrote. "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 that, in a sense, the guard 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," she tweeted.

The 22-year-old posted the experience on Twitter as a response to a tweet from February highlighting a Washington Post profile about her meteoric rise and the disparity between herself and "everyday Black girls."

"We live in a contradictory society that can celebrate a black girl poet & also pepper spray a 9 yr old," Gorman wrote last month. "Yes see me, but also see all other black girls who've been made invisible. I can not, will not, rise alone."

The poet did not immediately respond to a request Friday night for comment.

Gorman made history as the youngest poet in recent history to perform at a presidential inauguration when she took the stage Jan. 20 to recite her piece "The Hill We Climb."

"Somehow we weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished," Gorman read in part at the inauguration. "We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president, only to find herself reciting for one.

"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."

Gorman's performance earned her the attention of countless media outlets and she performed the following month at the Super Bowl.

Gorman became the country's first National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017.