Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman Racially Profiled Outside Her Home
Gorman detailed the incident in a Twitter post.
In January, Amanda Gorman made headlines as the first-ever Youth Poet Laureate when she read her poem “The Hill We Climb” at Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s inauguration ceremony. As the youngest poet ever to speak at the inauguration, Gorman’s words and performance captured the attention and acclaim of the world. Two of her books became best-sellers, and she later recited an original poem at Super Bowl LV’s pregame ceremony in February.
— JCCIC (@JCCIC) January 20, 2021
And just this week, the creative phenom was racially profiled outside her own apartment building. Gorman recounted the experience in a Twitter post, where she wrote, “A security guard tailed me on my walk home tonight. 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 added, “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.” Her experience paints an all too accurate picture of racial injustice in America, where Black people are continually murdered, injured, and incarcerated for simply existing. Many took to social media to express sympathy and support for Gorman, and to remind the rest of us what the Black community goes through every day:
Amanda Gorman’s experience is that of so many black people.
Happy she made it home safely. So many others don’t. https://t.co/0maYbYGIWO
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) March 6, 2021
Let this story sink in.
— Mark Keam (@MarkKeam) March 6, 2021
Sigh. It is exhausting.
Amanda Gorman Says Security Guard Confronted Her, Saying She Looked ‘Suspicious’ https://t.co/mfArB4jwzd
— Ubaka Ogbogu (@UbakaOgbogu) March 6, 2021
Amanda Gorman has been on magazine covers, television, and social media. Her face and voice are everywhere.
THIS IS HER REALITY! https://t.co/yluzjT8kB1
— Just Nancie / Secretary of Sassy (@NhNancie) March 6, 2021
— Sophia A. Nelson (@IAmSophiaNelson) March 6, 2021
I am so sorry that this happened to you. You are treasured and loved and prayed for by people you haven’t even met yet. We got you. Only let this strengthen your resolve and firm up your purpose.
— Tatyana Ali (@TatyanaAli) March 6, 2021
In response to the support, Gorman tweeted, “I am so thankful for the outpouring of support since the incident last night. It won’t change the truth of what happened, and continues to happen to Black Americans, but it reassures me of what I already know: There is always far more good in this world than bad. Love, Amanda”.
(via New York Times, featured image: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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