Sidney Poitier and his Haitian link

A country as rich in culture and history as Haiti must be in possession of great talent, the likes of which has graced world stages and dazzled on the silver screen. More commonly known to have Bahamian ancestry through both parents, Sidney Poitier has a claim to Haitian roots through his father.


In the biography of the actor, written by Carol Berman, it was said that, the family of Sidney Poitier had managed to trace their lineage back to the island of Haiti, where Sidney's father, Reginald Poitier's ancestors had been slaves on a sugar plantation until their escape from the country to the Bahamas. They would eventually settle on the Cat Islands, as his mother's family were also slaves on Bahamian plantations.

Throughout his career and journey to becoming the first African American to win Best Actor at the Academy Awards (1963, Lilies of the Field), Sidney Poitier showed the determination indicative of his ancestry. When he first tried his hand at acting as a young man, following stints as a juvenile delinquent and then subsequently in the U.S. Army, he was met by unfavorable reviews from the audiences. But Poitier spent months refining his craft and soon won a role in the film No Way Out (1950), marking the start of a brilliant and laudable career.

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Wooghie78 says...

This seems to me a poetically description of a relived (general) birth, in which the actor finally cuts his own family history off a trunk, that until then has not been in chance of a real live (1963).

By dazzling on (or off?) the silver screen, Sidney Poitier reaches his fathers claim(s) for being his son. Over the time and by discovering his own roots, after a first hardly to believe recognition of all the possibilities, his own life has to offer so far for him (1950).

But after finally reaching that personal freedom, this appears to the reader as the understanding of a last[ing] (logically) instruction, the actor had to receive in his life. A saying like "lilacs and (withered) lilies", that the AA must have provided for Mr. Poitier in substitution of his parents, which illuminated his new entrance to life, therefore should have let him also becoming aware not only of the destiny his ancestors had to fulfill, but also of the so called "determination indicative" they might have spent their lifetime for and of course for good reason.

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