Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Happy birthday, Sidney Poitier.

His Excellency Sir Sidney Poitier, Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, was born 81 years ago today.

Raised in poverty in the Bahamas, Poitier spent his young adulthood in Harlem. He studied acting, making his stage debut in the 1940s with the American Negro Theater.

Sidney Poitier would become a Hollywood legend.

In his honor, I’m streaming a 4½-minute excerpt of Sir Sidney’s reading of his 2000 autobiography, “The Measure of a Man.”

Click here to listen as Poitier recalls the racial politics of the late ’60s, when some blacks accused him of being an “Uncle Tom” and a “house Negro” because of the roles he played.

11 comments:

dj said...

Wow 81!
Just watched him again the other night in the remake of The Jackal.

I have his biography "This Life",is the one you have just a update or some new reflections on his past?

Think he is still married to a Canadian as well and they are jointly responsible for Sydney ;)

tAnYeTTa said...

Happy Birthday Sir Sidney Poitier!

Invisible Woman said...

I wrote about Sidney today as well, and decided not to post about a tidbit that I read as a girl in "This Life". Apparently, it was the thing to do in the West Indies to have sex with the yard chickens...I was scarred by this for a while! haha

Wanda said...

Sidney's still pretty handsome and not wrinkly for 81! Happy Birthday to him.

Bklyn6 said...

Sidney's still pretty handsome and not wrinkly for 81!

That's because good black, don't crack!

Happy Birthday Mr. Poitier!

Invisible Woman said...

btw: the thought of Sidney being a house Negro is laughable...

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Indeed. But he remains chairman of the board of the League of Exceptional Negroes of America!

DeAngelo Starnes said...

My all-time favorite Sidney line came from "A Piece of the Action"

"I got yo' boy!"

I think he added "Tittie sucka!" somewhere in there. I know when my brother and I imitate
Sidney's voice, we use that line. Something about how Sidney says it, "Tittie sucka!" that gets the point across. Might have to use that in response to the hate mail in the next round of Stakes Be High.

"Tittie sucka!"

Sidney kicked ass in "ground-breaking" roles in the 60s. But for my money he did all of Black Hollywood a big service with his Seventies triology with Bill Cosby: "Uptown Saturday Night," "Let's Do It Again," and "A Piece of the Action." "A Piece of the Action" was especially didatic.

We love Sidney!!!

"Virgil. Now that's a funny name for a boy. What do they call you up in Philadelphia?"

"They call me MISTER Tibbs."

I feel you you, Sidney.

Gioperation said...

reading this inspired me to do my top 10 quotes on Sidney today.
Quotes, Proverbs and Inspirational Stories

Undercover Black Man said...

Apparently, it was the thing to do in the West Indies to have sex with the yard chickens...

Delayed reaction: Whaaaaaat??

dj said...

And that's how they came up with the term "Jerk Chicken"!

barrrump, bump, tchhhhh!

...And now you know…the rest of the story.
I'm Paul Harvey.