Shout out to Sidney Poitier—actor and cultural icon.
Before Billy Dee Williams, Morgan Freeman and Samuel L. Jackson, you represented the Hollywood genre of the Civil Rights Movement. Your existence in film was a figurative civil rights act, and you helped inspire the movement as the movement inspired You.
During your very first audition, you were dismissed and told that you were destined to only become a dishwasher. The acting industry instantly moved up on your preference spectrum; and your career in cinema was catapulted by your motivation against racial bias and your determination to thrive as a thespian.
You were frequently cast as one who cures or a curator of the lesser educated. Your role as Dr. John Wade Prentice in the 1967 film, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, is dearest to me. The most compelling scene is when you honor thy father by respectfully challenging him to see you as your own man successfully paving your own path. In this role, you refused to cower to the 30+ years of narcissistic control by your parents.
In 1963, you became the first Black actor to win an Oscar from The Academy for Best Actor, thus paving the way for Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Jamie Foxx, and Forest Whitaker nearly 40 years later. You transformed American cinema; and Daniel Kaluuya, Whoopi Goldberg, Viola Davis, and numerous other African American actors are celebrated in film largely because of your pioneering work.
Happy 95th birthday from your daughter Beverly, your complete and charming family, and the rest of the world who are fans of your brilliance. We miss you. We love you.
Comments are closed