This month we are highlighting a #blackartist each week that has been a major influencer in the arts community and beyond.
Sidney Poitier (1927-2022) was a Bahamian and American actor, film director, and diplomat. In 1964, he was the first black actor and first Bahamian to win the Academy Award for Best Actor. He received two competitive Golden Globe Awards, a competitive British Academy of Film and Television Arts award (BAFTA), and a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album. Poitier was one of the last major stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema.
In addition to his talents on screen, he used his platform to fight against racial injustices, working with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In 1964, Sidney Poitier risked his life for civil rights. He delivered a suitcase full of $70,000 into the heart of America's racial nightmare.
"Black actors, celebrities and entertainers who support voting rights and racial justice — whether behind the scenes or in more vocal ways — owe a debt to Poitier and the work he did in front of the camera and when the Hollywood klieg lights were turned off." —Peneil Joseph
Photo: Archive Photos/Getty Images
Learn more about Sidney's venture and see some of his work here, here and here.