On Friday, Amanda Gorman shared that she was racially profiled by a security guard

By Ally Mauch
March 07, 2021 02:30 PM
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Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman speaks at the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021
Poet Amanda Gorman reads "The Hill We Climb," which she wrote for Joe Biden's inauguration, on Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol.
| Credit: Alex Wong/Getty

Amanda Gorman is celebrating her 23rd birthday by urging her followers to pay their "blessings forward." 

The young poet, who made waves with her powerful reading of "The Hill We Climb" during President Joe Biden's inauguration, shared a post on Sunday with links to and information about various nonprofit organizations that have helped her.  

"Today I turn 23 🥳🎉," she began in the caption alongside a selfie of her at the U.S. Capitol for the January inauguration. "As I reflect back with gratitude on this whirlwind year that brought me to the steps of the Capitol, I can't help but believe that the best type of gift is one that pays your blessings forward." 

"If you've been touched by my words, please consider donating or sharing about these wonderful nonprofits below who have supported me at critical points in my young career," Gorman continued. "Even a dollar works magic." 

The Los Angeles native gave a shout-out to WriteGirl, Vital Voices, Beyond Baroque Literary Arts, Urban Word and 826 National.

In addition, Gorman celebrated her twin sister Gabrielle's birthday with a throwback photo from their childhood.

The birthday post comes two days after Gorman — the country's first National Youth Poet Laureate — opened up about being racially profiled. 

Gorman recounted the incident on Friday evening, tweeting, "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," she continued. "He left, no apology."

"This is the reality of black girls: One day you're called an icon, the next day, a threat," the Harvard University graduate added.

However, Gorman said she's chosen to look at the situation differently, writing, "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," she wrote.

The following day, Gorman thanked those who had reached out to her after she shared her experience. 

"I am so thankful for the outpouring of support since the incident last night," she wrote on Twitter Saturday. "It won't change the truth of what happened, and continues to happen to Black Americans, but it reassures me of what I already know: There is always far more good in this world than bad."