Poet Amanda Gorman says she was profiled by security outside her apartment

Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman at the inauguration of US President Joe Biden on the West Front of the US Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images)

“One day you’re called an icon, the next day, a threat.” That according to US inaugural poet Amanda Gorman is the reality of the black girl in America.

In a Twitter post, Gorman details how she was racially profiled outside her apartment because she “looked suspicious”.

“He demanded if I lived there because ‘you look suspicious.’ I showed my keys & buzzed myself into my building,” she wrote. “He left, no apology. This is the reality of black girls: One day you’re called an icon, the next day, a threat.”

But in a sense, Gorman the security guard 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,” she tweeted.

The 22-year-old posted the experience on Twitter as a response to a tweet from February highlighting a Washington Post profile about her rise and the disparity between herself and “everyday Black girls.”

Gorman was America’s first National Youth Poet Laureate. She made history again on January 20 as the youngest poet to perform at a presidential inauguration.

She took the stage and gave a captivating recital of the poem, “The Hill We Climb.”

“Somehow we weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished,” Gorman read in part at the inauguration. “We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president, only to find herself reciting for one.

“We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be: a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free.”