Sidney Poitier died today

Growing up in small town Canada, was growing up sheltered from race. There were no black families in our town. It wasn’t until we went to Europe when I was 11 that I saw black people in a Wimpys burger joint in London and I was enthralled by the accents and the beautiful skin tones. I’ll never forget the boys, in their school uniforms, looking so smart, laughing with each other, being kids. I really wanted to talk with them, to find out about them, but I was with my family and about then, Scottish soccer hooligans burst through the door and dad rushed us out.

It was 12 years after the movie was released in 1967,that I saw Guess who’s coming coming to dinner? I was a rebellious 14 year old. A typical angst ridden teen, desperate for independence.

When Sidney Poitier came onto the screen, my heart jumped, and my mind was taken back to that day in London. Here’s this beautiful man, with a lovely speaking voice, perfect posture, as smooth as silk personality. And I was enticed. Then came THE SCENE. The scene that stole my heart and captivated my mind for years. The scene where he says to his father, “I owe you nothing ” Sidney Poitier spoke my truth in that scene and I will always love him for that.

He holds the distinction of being the first black actor to win the academy award and of being my second longest crush.

Thank you, Sidney Poitier for your intelligence, your activism, your authentic and truly beautiful self.

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