Amanda Gorman says a security guard followed her home on Friday night. The 22-year-old poet, who became the youngest inaugural poet in American history when she performed at President Joe Biden’s inauguration earlier this year, says the guard said she looked “suspicious.”
“A security guard tailed me on my walk home tonight,” Gorman wrote on 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.”
In a follow-up tweet she wrote: “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.”
Gorman recited her poem “The Hill We Climb” on the steps of the United States Capitol during Mr. Biden’s inauguration ceremony on January 20. She told “CBS This Morning’s” Anthony Mason that she prepared for the big moment the way she would prepare for any other performance.
“One of the preparations that I do always whenever I perform is I say a mantra to myself, which is ‘I’m the daughter of black writers. We’re descended from freedom fighters who broke through chains and changed the world. They call me.'”
The original composition drew from her own experience, as “a skinny black girl descended from slaves” who dreams “of becoming president,” as well as the recent insurrection at the Capitol, Gorman told Mason.