Amanda Gorman, whose recitation of a poem about this country’s hesitant progress on race and equality during President Biden’s inauguration pushed her onto the national stage, said on Friday that she had been followed by a security guard who wondered if she lived in her own apartment building.
Gorman, 22, who grew up near Westchester, wrote on Twitter Friday night that the guard ‘followed’ her as she walked home, then asked if she actually lived in his apartment building. “You look suspicious,” the guard said, according to Gorman.
Gorman said she showed her keys to the guard and let herself into the building. “He’s gone, no apologies,” she wrote. “This is the reality of black girls: one day you are called an icon, the next day a threat.”
Gorman did not immediately return a message sent through his website asking for comment.
Gorman, who attended New Roads School in Santa Monica, became Los Angeles’ first Young Poet Laureate at the age of 16. She was recognized as the National Youth Poet Laureate three years later while studying at Harvard University.
The youngest poet to speak at a presidential inauguration, Gorman recited the poem “The Hill We Go Up” during Biden’s swearing-in, just two weeks after a crowd of former supporters of Trump violated the U.S. Capitol in a violent attempt to prevent Congress from certifying. Biden’s victory.
Gorman describes herself in the poem as “a skinny black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother”, but who “may dream of becoming president”.
She has two upcoming books – a poetry collection and a children’s book – which are scheduled for release by Penguin Random House in September, according to her website.