Amanda Gorman Describes the “Reality of Black Girls” After Being Followed Home

Amanda Gorman shared her distressing experience walking home on Friday, March 5, when she was followed and called "suspicious." The poet said this is "the reality of black girls."

By Lindsay Weinberg Mar 06, 2021 2:57 AMTags
Watch: 5 Things to Know About Inauguration Poet Amanda Gorman

Amanda Gorman recently experienced the unfortunate "reality" of how many Black Americans are treated.

Just two months ago, Amanda became an icon after reading her powerful poem at the 2021 President Inauguration, wearing jewelry that Oprah Winfrey gifted to her.

She was interviewed by Michelle Obama for TIME magazine. She signed a modeling contract with IMG Models. She is publishing three books this year, including a picture book and her poetry collection The Hill We Climb and Other Poems, just one year after she graduated cum laude from Harvard.

Yet, Amanda is now revealing she was racially profiled while walking home on Friday, March 5. 

The 22-year-old activist described the incident on Twitter, writing, "A security guard tailed me on my walk home tonight. He demanded if I lived there because 'you look suspicious.'"

Amanda shared her response to the man's demand: "I showed my keys & buzzed myself into my building. He left, no apology." 

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She then explained the troubling implications behind the encounter by writing, "This is the reality of black girls: One day you're called an icon, the next day, a threat." 

In another tweet, she added, "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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Her stylist, Jason Bolden, (whose other clients include Cynthia Erivo, Taraji P. Henson and Alicia Keys) commented on her post on Instagram, writing, "Everyday Just Being Black..... will it ever change?" To which Amanda replied, "everyday just being that black iconic threat." 

Lily Collins wrote, "Keep being the constant light you are," while Annasophia Robb asked, "Who is this mf?! I wanna track him dowwwwwn!" 

PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor also weighed in and wrote on Twitter, "Amanda Gorman's experience is that of so many black people. Happy she made it home safely. So many others don't."

Amanda is the youngest Inaugural poet and used her platform in January to speak about the change she wants to see in America after watching the riot at the Capitol just two weeks prior. "We will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one," she said in her poem. "There is always light, if only we're brave enough to see it. If only we're brave enough to be it." 

Get to know more about Amanda here.

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