Harvest of Hope

Bahamian-American Actor

February 20, 1927

- January 6, 2022

D uring his 1964 acceptance speech for the Academy Award for Best Actor, Sidney Poitier, slightly winded from his trek to the stage, breathily asserted, “Because it is a long journey to this moment, I am naturally indebted to countless numbers of people.” Poitier’s labored emphasis on the “long journey to this moment” underscored both the stamina of his onscreen appeal and his protracted route to acclaim that began with his 1950 film debut in No Way Out. It also gestured toward the adverse conditions that characterized his unprecedented trajectory in Hollywood. Poitier, the pioneering Black actor and activist who died at the age of 94, had a complicated career. From his successful buddy pictures (The Defiant Ones, Duel at


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