Poitier was the first African American to win an Academy Award for his acting
“They call me Mr Tibbs” and with that line, legendary actor Sidney L. Poitier stardom continued to rise which would lead to him becoming the first Afro American actor to win an Academy Award for his role in the critically acclaimed film “Lilies of the Field.” Poitier was more than just an actor, he was a champion of civil rights and fought for equal representation of Afro American workers within the film industry.
Thursday evening Bahamian Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchells announced the passing of Poitier at the age of 94. It was only fitting as Poitier served as the Bahama’s Ambassador to Japan from 1997 to 2007. He was born on February 20, 1927, and died on January 6, 2022.
“Through his groundbreaking roles and singular talent, Sidney Poitier epitomized dignity and grace, revealing the power of movies to bring us closer together. He also opened doors for a generation of actors. Michelle and I send our love to his family and legion of fans.” Said, Former US President Barack Obama
Poitier leaves behind a long illustrious career of timeless classics such as Guess Who’s Coming Dinner, In The Heat of The Night and Lilies of the Field. For his work in the film industry, Poitier received ten Golden Globes, two Academy Awards, one Screen Actors Guild, multiple lifetime achievement awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 and Knighted by the Queen in 1974.
Poitier’s acting career took him from the American Negro Theater to the Silver big screens of Hollywood. He shattered the glass ceiling for African Americans and will forever be cherished.
Image source President Obama Twitter feed and Sir Poitier Wiki page