US’ youngest inaugural poet says guard tailed her, said she looked ‘suspicious’

Amanda Gorman, who became a national sensation when she delivered a stirring poem at President Joe Biden’s inauguration in January, said on Friday that a security guard had followed her home and told her 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.” Gorman said in another tweet: “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, 22, who is from Los Angeles, did not immediately respond to a message sent through her website on Friday night. She is the youngest inaugural poet ever in the US and was named the United States’ first youth poet laureate in 2017, when she was a student at Harvard.
At Biden’s inauguration, she drew widespread acclaim when she recited, in a voice filled with clarity and emotion, “The Hill We Climb” in front of the Capitol. In the poem, she spoke of “striving to forge a union with purpose, to compose a country committed to all cultures, colours, characters and conditions of man.” She described her background as a “skinny Black girl, descended from slaves and raised by a single mother,” who can dream of being president one day, “only to find herself reciting for one.”

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