Nov 6, 2007

I found Mr. Poitier's autobiography inspiring. Sidney Poitier candidly talks about his childhood on Cat Island, and Nassau in the Bahamas; his move to Florida, where he encountered racism, and his life in New York.

He talks about his marriage, his children, and his trials and tribulations; as he rises to fame as an Oscar Award winning actor.

Mr. Poitier's spiritual autobiography holds nothing back about learning to live as a black man in a racist America. The book is more inspirational and honest than I expected, highlighting the difficulty of living in a world that minimized everything you do, if you happen to be the wrong color, and hampering every move you make when trying to succeed.

Sidney Poitier never compromised his values, refusing to play parts he did not believe in. He would turn down job opportunities when the role or script went against his standard of integrity - even when he desperately needed the money. When there was a line in a script that degraded his character, he spoke to the director about changing it - and then he would get it changed.

Sidney points out the two faces of American racism: The one which is extremely ugly and in your face, and the softer, more subtle one that is often not recognized until it is too late to do anything about. The latter would often show up when he was working with certain producers, directors, co-stars and those with otherwise impeccable liberal credentials.

His life story is a true adventure, and his integrity and humanity inspires and reminds me that being honest and never giving up are the keys to a fulfilling life.

One of the joys in reading this book was its intimate style. Sidney writes in the same inimitable way he speaks, giving the reader the impression that you are just in an ordinary conversation with your grandfather, father or uncle as they share their wisdom with you.

I would recommend this book for any parent who has a son who is coming of age no matter what life paths they are deciding to follow, this book will be a great help to them.

Thanks Sidney for your beautiful insight into What a Measure of a Man should be.


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