December 8, 2022

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A model and an inspiration

A model and an inspiration

Sydney Poitier. He is set to celebrate his 95th birthday early next month. Through his artistic and political dedication, he will be a reference model and inspiration to many in my generation.

I quoted Martin Luther King, Jr., with whom he campaigned: “He was a very deep man, a man who cared about society, a man dedicated to human rights and freedom”.

Like Martin Luther King, zealots of a black community called him “Mr. Tom / Uncle Tom” when he tried in his own way in his artistic choices to build bridges and bridges between “blacks” and “whites” at the height of the civil rights movement in the United States in the 1960s. .

A remarkable industry

His gallery is long … albeit in specific films Chain, Porky and Bess, Lily of the fields, A corner of the blue sky Where Guess who is coming for dinner, The work of this great actor is remarkable.

Throughout his life, he received numerous nominations for his acting career, including Sidney Poitier. And prices.

In 1959 he won the BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor (British Academy Film Awards) for his outstanding performance alongside Tony Curtis in the film. Chain (Opponents); A theatrical film produced and directed by Stanley Kramer based on the screenplay by Harold Jacob Smith.

In 1964 he became the first African-American actor to win an Oscar for his role in a film. Lily of the fields (Lilies of the field), William E.. Ralph Nelson’s comedy based on Barrett’s novel.

In 2009, he received the Presidential Medal for Independence from former US President Barack Obama.

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Guess who is coming for dinner

As a teenager and porter at the (Jesuit) Lieberman College in Doula, Cameroon in the 1970s, I first discovered Sydney Poeter through the film as Dr. John Frentis. Guess who is coming for dinner. It was part of our college movie nights.

The film asked questions about racism. They are still relevant today …

The questions, at the time, led to structured and credible discussions between our Jesuit teachers and us learners. As part of our cultural evening in college we re-enacted parts of this film within ourselves in the theater.

If my former college friends and I later became quieter and more accommodating to adults, it would no doubt be part of the influence that artists like Sidney Poitier had on us when we fully built our mental personalities.

In conclusion, we should not ignore the role of “positive” artists in children’s intellectual development.

Thanks, Monsieur Poitier, a good trip in the best light.