Sidney Poitier, the screen legend, passed away Friday at the age of 95, just one week after Betty White’s death. Poitier was Hollywood’s first Black film star, and also the first Black actor to be awarded an Oscar for best acting. Poitier was more than just an actor. He was also a director, activist and director who helped to open doors for African-Americans throughout Hollywood.
Poitier was born and raised in the Bahamas. He was awarded an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth. A Kennedy Center Honor was given to him. The Presidential Medal of Freedom was the highest civilian award in the United States. The world saw the true impact of Poiter’s passing shortly after it broke. Many paid respects to the man and shared favorite moments with him on Twitter.
“This talented, beautiful and brilliant Black man. Rest in Peace and Power #SidneyPoitier,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
“Sidney Poitier. Poor People’s Campaign, Resurrection City, Washington, D.C., May 1968. “Powerful beyond stage and screen,” tweet Bernice King (@BerniceKing), the CEO of Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.
Clay Cane, SirusXM’s host (@claycane), offered his condolences. “The legend Sidney Poitier has apparently passed away at the age of 94.” He is a true icon. This is an interview he did in 1968, when he spoke out about how the media was treating him. “Relax in power.”
Time Out Film’s official Twitter account (@TimeOutFilm), was one of many media outlets that praised Poitier for his long career. He was the first Black actor to win an Oscar. From ‘Blackboard Jungle’ to ‘In the Heat of the Night’, he was never less than magnetic onscreen.”
The Huffington Post’s Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis), shared this clip from Poitier’s Oscars acceptance speech in 1964.
“Ah man, Sidney Poitier. When I was a child, In The Heat of the Night became one of the first films that I could watch as a grown-up. “Mr Poitier! I hope that you are up there with angels in heaven,” said Nadia Latif, theater director and film director (@HerrDirector).
Tim Robey, film critic (@trim_obey), tweets: “It sounds as if the incomparable Sidney Poitier had died. It’s also the first day of Peter Bogdanovich’s death. “What an assault!”
Jeffrey Wright, actor (@jfreewright), wrote “Sidney Poitier.” This is a remarkable actor. He is one of a kind. He was a gracious, warm and genuinely regal gentleman. RIP, Sir. All my love.
To be worthy of such praise and adulation, we should all be grateful.