America’s Most Influential Young Woman of 2021 Racially Profiled

Amanda Gorman, former National Youth Poet Laureate made history at President Joseph Biden’s inauguration as the nation’s youngest inaugural poet. Only twenty-two years old, the Harvard graduate left the world wonderstruck after her moving recitation of her original poem, “The Hill We Climb.” Unlike former inaugural poets (including Robert Frost and Maya Angelou), Gorman was faced with the daunting task of writing a poem during a global pandemic, a time of grave despair for both U.S. and global citizens. According to The New York Times, Gorman was halfway through her writing process on January 6th, the day the capital was stormed by ruthless Trump supporters protesting the certification of Biden’s presidential victory. Many of them were armed with weapons and carrying flags emblazoned with racist and anti-semetic slurs. Gorman felt
that it was important to add verses to her poem about the trauma America faced that day. “In my poem, I’m not going to in any way gloss over what we’ve seen over the past few weeks and, dare I say, the past few years. But what I really aspire to do in the poem is to be able to use my words to envision a way in which our country can still come together and can still heal,” she told The New York Times. “It’s doing that in a way that is not erasing or neglecting the harsh truths I think America needs to reconcile with.” Gorman’s captivating and emotional poem was undoubtedly one the highlights of the inauguration. Soon after her passionate recitation, three of her yet-to-be published books topped Amazon’s charts.

Despite these outstanding accomplishments, Gorman was recently a victim of racial profiling. On March 5th, 2021, a male security guard followed her home and verbally assaulted her, telling her she “looked suspicious” and asked if she lived there. Gorman took to Twitter after this traumatic experience, stating that this experience is the “reality of black girls: one day you’re called an icon, the next day, a threat.” She later 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.”