Undandy Heroes

Sidney Poitier

Not only is Sidney Poitier famous for being the first black actor to win an Oscar for his performance in Lillies of the Field in 1964, he is also a cultural symbol for dignity and civil rights. He was a gentlemanly hero with a penchant for bespoke suits. At a time when the civil rights movement had hit boiling point, Poitier’s presence on the silver screen was of a calm, elegant and refined symbol of a black man against the cartoonish stereotype which had been represented previously and broke racial barriers, winning over black and white audiences. 

Actress Katharine Houghton who co-starred alongside Poitier once said that ‘as a black man, he was going to be judged. He knew this. He had to be better than a white man. And that was his great gift to America.’ 

‘I decided in my life that I would do nothing that did not reflect positively on my father’s life.’