Black History Month Spotlight: Sidney Poitier


Continuing this week’s theme of African American firsts in arts and entertainment, today’s spotlight is on actor Sidney Poitier.

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


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