Inaugural Poet: I Was Racially Profiled, Told I Looked 'Suspicious'

06 Mars, 2021, 22:53 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Amanda Gorman details experience of being racially profiled by a security guard

A colorful mural featuring Los Angeles native Amanda Gorman, the poet who read her work at President Joe Biden's inauguration and at the Super Bowl, is now on display in downtown Palm Springs.

According to Gorman, she was walking home on the evening of March 5, 2021 when a male security guard tailed her and asked if she lived there because she looked suspicious. He demanded if I lived there because "you look suspicious", tweeted Gorman on Friday. "He left, no apology", Gorman wrote in a post on her verified Instagram account.

Gorman didn't immediately return a message sent through her website seeking comment. "Anyone who speaks the truth and walks with hope is an obvious and fatal danger to the powers that be", she said.

PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor also weighed in and wrote on Twitter, "Amanda Gorman's experience is that of so many black people". "Now I realized that perhaps my path will be a different one, that it might be performing my poetry and touching people that way, and then entering public office from a platform that was built off of my beliefs and thoughts and ideas".

But to a security guard on Friday night, the young African American woman represented a potential threat to public safety. This is the reality of black girls.

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"WriteGirl has been pivotal in my life", she has said.

At the point she posted the tweet, she also reposted an earlier tweet referring to a Washington Post profile of her, in which she said: "Yes see me, but also see all other black girls who've been made invisible. I cannot, will not, rise alone". To which Amanda replied, "everyday just being that black iconic threat".

Born in Los Angeles in 1998, Gorman became the city's youth poet laureate at 16.

"We the successors of a country and a time / Where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother / can dream of becoming president / only to find herself reciting for one", the poem reads.

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