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.
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