Sidney Poitier: A Staple In Black History
What the actor, director, and diplomat has done for the Black community
He was the first Black person to win an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the 1963 film Lilies of the Field. His work broke racial barriers and marked a time in history when typecast characters transitioned to more gratifying roles for Black actors. He represented the “new age” black man who could act alongside both Black and White actors and actresses. He is professional, charming, and very easy on the eye, still at 87-years-old. So on the heels of Sidney Poitier’s birthday, here’s a look at just a few of the dynamic ways he has influenced the Black community.
#1. Without Sidney Poitier, a lot of the great Black actors you love so much would not exist. He helped paved the way for Black actors to not only go after unconventional roles, but to be seen and recognized as talented individuals as well.
#2. He made some of the most important and controversial films to date, including No Way Out, a violent tale of racial hatred, which the colonial censored. The protest that followed ignited the political party that would eventually overturn British rule.
#3. In 1997, the Bahamas appointed Poitier its ambassador to Japan, also making him a representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
#4. Poitier represents struggle, hope, and victory for the Black community.
The amount of influence he has on the Black community is unmeasurable. He was a trailblazer, a visionary, and a person of humanity. Sidney Poitier, we salute you!