US poet Amanda Gorman calls out racism after guard calls her ‘suspicious’

  • The 23-year-old tweeted and shared on Instagram that the man didn’t apologise or comment once she let herself into her building
  • Gorman became a global sensation after reading her poem ‘The Hill We Climb’ at US President Joe Biden’s inauguration
Agence France-Presse |

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Amanda Gorman, who recited a poem during the inauguration of US President Joe Biden, has spoken of her experience with racism. Photo: AFP

In a reminder that racism affects even those in the public eye, African-American poet Amanda Gorman, who became a star after her reading at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, has said a security guard claimed she looked “suspicious” and followed her as she walked home.

“This is the reality of black girls: One day you’re called an icon, the next day, a threat,” she tweeted Friday.

“He demanded if I lived there because ‘you look suspicious.’ I showed my keys & buzzed myself into my building. He left, no apology,” she wrote.

Gorman became an international sensation after reciting her original work The Hill We Climb at the inaugural, a poem inspired by the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

The Harvard University graduate who turned 23 on Sunday was invited to perform in Washington after First Lady Jill Biden saw one of her readings.

What inspired Amanda Gorman’s presidential inauguration poem?

She was the youngest poet ever to recite at a presidential inauguration, a role first given to Robert Frost by John F. Kennedy in 1961.

Gorman subsequently became the first-ever poet to perform at American football championship, the Super Bowl, America’s most-watched broadcast of the year.

In another tweet on Friday, Gorman wrote: “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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