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.
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.