A Legend has Left the World Stage


Sidney Poitier (Feb 20, 1927 – Jan 6, 2022) was more than a groundbreaking actor. He chose roles that made a difference in other people’s lives. As a baby boomer I grew up watching many of his movies and felt his impact. He rejected those roles of African Americans playing inferior stereotypes. He maintained his dignity, intelligence and grace and kept his cool and his rage intact.

I watched him win the Academy Award for “Lilies of the Field” on TV in 1964 making him the first African American Male Actor to reach that goal. He reached for the moon and became a star. I still remember seeing his standing on stage with his Black tuxedo and White bow tie.

In 2001 Denzel Washington won the Academy Award for ‘Training Day’ after Sidney Poitier received an Honorary Award for his “Overall Contribution to American Drama”. In Denzel’s acceptance speech he said ‘I’ll always be chasing you, Sidney; I’ll always be following in your footsteps. There is nothing I would rather do Sir”.

“To Sir, with Love”, Sidney was the charismatic schoolteacher who earned the respect of an East London intercity school. The soundtrack was a hit for that year. In the movie “Guess who is coming to dinner?” Sidney had to impress his fiancé’ parents played by Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.

“In the Heat of the Night” he corrected the Southern Police chief played by Rod Setiger by telling him that the cops that work with him call him Mr. Tibbs. That slap back on the face of the wealthy White guy  was written in the contract because during the ‘1960’s in the South that usually mean jail time or worse. 

When it’s all said and done, how do you thank someone who has done so much? It is never easy to say goodbye but we can try. Why not write across the sky and say “To Sir with Love”.



Author: hackettglobalmarketing14

I'm a two time military veteran (Air Force & US Army). I started blogging to keep my mind active after 40+ years of work. I joined the Air Force to escape the auto assembly line in Detroit. I went to Libya North Africa where Col. Muammar Graddafi was forcing the closure of the base there. The base commander, Col. Daniel "Chappie" James kept a lid on the situation. I was later commissioned in the Army, and "Chappie" became the first African American Four Star General for the Air Force. Blogging just opened up the flood gates. Standing in the Shadows, Listening to the Greats!!! will be my blog novel. If you don't write your story who will?

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