Amanda Gorman, the nation’s first youth poet laureate who jumped to fame after her reading at President Biden’s inauguration, said she was “tailed” and told “you look suspicious” by a security guard as she walked to her own home Friday night.
“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,” the 22-year-old Gorman, who is Black, wrote in a post on her verified Instagram account.
“This is the reality of black girls: One day you’re called an icon, the next day, a threat,” she added.
She also tweeted about the encounter.
Gorman followed up her inaugural reading with another original poem presented at the Super Bowl.
Some of her social-media followers said Friday and early Saturday that the attention on people of color, particularly when going about everyday activities, is reminiscent of other police interactions, some of which turn violent, even deadly. Gorman’s experience again shines a light on systemic aggression against Black Americans and the increasingly high-profile deaths that have sparked national movements, including Black Lives Matter, they said.
A 2019 study published by the National Academy of Sciences said Black women are about 1.4 times more likely to be killed by police compared with white women.
The high-profile Breonna Taylor case in Louisville, Ky., is one such police shooting that heightened calls for reform. Two more officers involved in the deadly shooting last year of Taylor were fired in January. That included a detective believed to have fired the fatal shot and another who sought the no-knock search warrant that led to the raid, of which Taylor was not the target. Criminal charges were not brought in the case, sparking outrage among protestors and advocates calling for justice.
The House this week passed a bill named for police victim George Floyd would ban chokeholds, end qualified immunity and create national policing standards.