Appreciating all that makes America special

Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier,

Poitier was the first black person to win a Best Acting Oscar. Uploaded by

Some people seem to happen to be in the right place at the right time, and fame or fortune finds them. Then there are others, like Sidney Poitier, who seem to take hold of the time in which they live and don’t let go until the world adapts to them, and embraces their values. Fame and fortune for these few may or may not follow, because they suddenly seem irrelevant.

Sidney Poitier,

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The word that leaps immediately to mind to describe Poitier is “dignity.” It’s his defining characteristic, as well as that of the roles he took on film. Among his most notable movies:

  • Blackboard Jungle (1955)
  • The Defiant Ones (1958 – Oscar Nomination)
  • Porgy and Bess (1959)
  • A Raisin in the Sun (1961)
  • Lilies of the Field (1963 – Best Actor)
  • To Sir with Love (1967)
  • In the Heat of the Night (1967)
  • Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
  • They Call Me MISTER Tibbs (1970)

In addition to acting, Poitier also directed several films, including Uptown Saturday Night (1974) and Stir Crazy (1980). A man whose life has been defined by firsts, Poitier was the first black person to win a best acting Oscar, and the first to be the number one box office star for a year (1977). He has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. Born in Miami to Bahamian parents, Poitier is celebrating his dual citizenship by serving now as the ambassador of the Bahamas to Japan.

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