'This Is the Reality of Black Girls': Amanda Gorman Describes Racist Run-In Outside Her Home

Illustration for article titled 'This Is the Reality of Black Girls': Amanda Gorman Describes Racist Run-In Outside Her Home
Photo: Patrick Semansky (Getty Images)

In a series of tweets posted Friday, Amanda Gorman, the 22-year-old poet who spoke at Pres. Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony in January, said that a security guard tried to keep her from entering her Los Angeles home earlier that night—something she says is an everyday “reality” for Black women and girls:

A security guard tailed me on my walk home tonight. 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... 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.

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Though NPR noted that the former Youth Poet Laureate is “Harvard-educated” in its coverage of the tweets, the treatment Gorman tweeted about isn’t any more appalling because of her education, celebrity, or success. What Gorman described is horrible because it’s horrible, not because it happened to Gorman, specifically.

Freelance journalist (GQ, W, Esquire, elsewhere), here on weekends

DISCUSSION

sorvex
Sorely Vexed

In our society, white people are presumed to have the right to be where they are, doing what they are doing. Black people are not presumed to have these rights, so they are compelled to justify their presence and actions...if they’re lucky.

From this difference in presumption, so much evil flows.