Continuing this week’s theme of African American firsts in arts and entertainment, today’s spotlight is on actor Sidney Poitier.
- Born on February 20, 1927, Sidney Poitier was en route to Miami, Florida from the Bahamas.
- Poitier was a student at the American Negro Theatre in New York City and started performing in stage plays in 1950.
- Sidney Poitier was the first African-American man to win the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1964 for Lilies of the Field, (1963).
- Poitier was known for his positive portrayals and defied racial stereotypes in his many roles.
Sidney Poitier’s 1964 Academy Award acceptance speech