22-year-old poet Amanda Gorman gained widespread recognition earlier this year when she spoke at President Joe Biden’s Inauguration. She was the youngest inaugural poet in American history, and is an extremely accomplished Harvard graduate who primarily focuses on issues of feminism, race, oppression, and the African diaspora. On Friday, however, her safety was put at risk when a security guard followed her on her walk home, doubting that she lived in her own building. 

She shared the story on Twitter, writing, “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 another Tweet, Gorman pens, “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.” 

In Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem “The Hill We Climb,” which she wrote following the attacks on the US Capitol on January 6th, she discusses themes of race and racial justice in America. The battle for equality is far from over, but Amanda seems to be a voice of hope among the darkness. She writes, “For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”