“This is the reality of black girls: One day you’re called an icon, the next day, a threat.” On Friday (March 5), 23-year-old National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman tweeted that she’d been followed by a security guard outside of her apartment as she walked home.
“A security guard tailed me on my walk home tonight,” she wrote in the post. “He demanded if I lived there because ‘you look suspicious.’ I showed my keys [and] buzzed myself into my building,” she continued. “He left, no apology. This is the reality of black girls: One day you’re called an icon, the next day, a threat.
Gorman gave a profound performance of her original poem “The Hill We Climb” during the Inauguration ceremony of President Joe Biden in January.
“We live in a contradictory society that can celebrate a black girl power & also pepper spray a 9 yr old,” Gorman wrote in the tweet from 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 used the power of her words in this follow-up message about the incident:
“In a sense, he was right. I AM 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 thanked those who’d shown support following the incident, stating that “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.”
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