Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman took to Twitter Friday night to share her experience with a security guard who dubbed her “suspicious,” presumably because of the color of her skin.
“A security guard followed me on my way home tonight,” the 22-year-old tweeted, adding that she demanded to know if she lived in the apartment complex.
“I showed my keys and called my building,” he added.
Gorman claimed the guard left, without apologizing for his accusatory actions. She wrote that the situation shed light on the racial problems facing the United States.
“This is the reality of black girls: one day they call you an icon, the next day a threat,” she said.
A security guard followed me on my way home tonight. He asked me if I lived there because “you look suspicious.” I showed my keys and called my building. He left, without apology. This is the reality of black girls: one day they call you an icon, the next day they threaten. https://t.co/MmANtQqpBs
– Amanda Gorman (@TheAmandaGorman) March 5, 2021
Gorman’s tweet references the praise he received after his viral inaugural performance in January. He was then asked to perform at the Super Bowl, for which he also garnered widespread praise.
As the youngest presidential inaugural poet in American history, Gorman drew additional attention for her performances. She said she uses her platform to attract visibility to other young black women.
Wow, a fantastic @Washington Post piece by @nnekamcguire . We live in a contradictory society that can celebrate a black poet girl and also pepper spray a 9-year-old girl. Yes, look at me, but I also see all the other black girls who have made themselves invisible. I can’t, won’t, get up alone. https://t.co/tP531SCjrk
– Amanda Gorman (@TheAmandaGorman) February 14, 2021
“We live in a contradictory society that can celebrate a black girl poet and also pepper spray a 9-year-old girl,” he wrote on February 14. The tweet refers to an article that was written about the praise he received in the wake of an incident. during which Rochester police pepper sprayed a young woman.
“Yes, look at me, but I also see all the other black girls who have made themselves invisible,” she added. “I can’t, I don’t want to, get up alone.”