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Sidney Poitier, a Legend of Acting and Activism

todayJanuary 7, 2022 147 1

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Sidney Poitier

Today all nations mourn the passing of legendary actor and activist Sidney Poitier. Sidney Poitier, 94,  has passed away. Clint Watson, the press secretary for the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, confirmed the star’s death. A lifetime legacy, has been left in Hollywood and the world by Sidney Poitier.

Words like iconic, inspirational and leader don’t even begin to describe who Sidney Poitier was. He came from the low section of the Bahamas and then traveled to the United States when he was a teenager. Upon his arrival he signed up for the United States Army. After service, he fell in love with performing arts.


Due to his thick Bahamian accent, he dealt with rejection, but then he learned how to master the American accent, and scored his first huge role in the film “Lysistrata”. He later starred in films such as “No Way Out” in 1950 and “Blackboard Jungle” in 1955. In 1958, he starred in “The Defiant Ones”, and this was the catapult of his notoriety. Although he did not win his first Oscar Nomination, he did win his first Oscar for the drama-filled film “Lillies in the Field”. One of his most loved films is “A Raisin in the Sun”, which has been created many times over the past 60 years.

Sidney Poitier was dedicated to accepting roles that portrayed Black Americans in an intelligent light. He refused to be a stereotype actor for producers with unethical standards. When Sidney Poitier starred in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”, is made a big impact because interracial marriage was still illegal in some states. 

“I was the only Black person on the set. It was unusual for me to be in a circumstance in which every move I made was tantamount to a representation of 18 million people.” - Sidney Poitier


In time, Sidney Poitier started directing. He directed films such as “Ghost Dad” and “Stir Crazy”. Another film he directed was “Buck and the Preacher”. Sidney continued his journey in the acting world, but limited his roles. Japan requested Sidney Poitier to be the Bahamian ambassador from 1997 to the year 2007. In 2009, President Barack Obama presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom 

With time, he stepped from in front of the camera to behind the rolling wheel. He directed classic hits such as ‘Ghost Dad’, ‘Stir Crazy’, and ‘Buck and the Preacher’. Sidney continued to act, but kept his roles limited. Japan requested Poitier as the Bahamian ambassador from 1997 to 2007. In 2009, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from serving President Barack Obama.


Legendary Actor, Activist and pioneer, Sidney Poitier, is survived by his wife Joanna Shimkus and their six daughters, Beverly, Pamela, Sherri, Gina, Anika and Sydney. We pray that his legacy continues to shine and grow and live through those who personally knew him and held  him with high regard. Sidney Poitier pathed the way for many other Black actors and for that we are forever grateful. Thank you Mr. Sidney Poitier.

Written by: SMR Staff

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