Skip to main content

Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman Racially Profiled Outside Her Home

Gorman detailed the incident in a Twitter post.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman speaks at the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. During today's inauguration ceremony Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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.

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:

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)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.