• Seth Singleton - Editor

Sidney Poitier: A journey through history & the black perspective as it relates to art and character

Updated: Mar 16, 2019

By Charles Odia

Black history month is always a time to reflect. I feel it is a ubiquitous time for all to cherish, and understand the trials of those before us. It is a moment to  honor the struggles and celebrate the triumph of our ancestors.

With the amount of attention in entertainment following the black community through the arts, politics, and all forms of media I took time in my personal life to look back on the rich history of my predecessors and highlight a man of class and character who embodies the transcendence greatness creates naturally when it is organic and not forced or manipulated.

Controversy plays a part in most things because opinion, the media, interpretation differ from person to person and from case to case.  Controversy, lure and imitation are some words that can be used to describe black culture in america and that is a fact that cannot be overturned. I as an african american have had many positive leaders such as the great Barack Obama and the late Malcolm X whose lives where exemplary, but still are filled with controversy. That statement can be said of so many great men and women regardless of color or nationality.

The African American community has  trendsetting people on all fields from Jane Bolin who literally set the bar as the first female judge after graduating from yale and being sworn in during the year 1939, to Jerry Lawson who created who helped pioneer the first video game cartridge.

We are now in the age of now. New information is feed to us before we can digest what we learned minutes ago. It is the overwhelming lust to consume with our eyes and ears and not our minds and hearts thats has diluted the worth of art in its entirety.

You turn on the youtube and type in freddy mercury and can hear his opus immediately. You type in the 7 wonders and can view everything from Machu Picchu the 15th century Inca Citadel to the great wall of china instantly.

Man has created wonders from the ebb of time and that is a truth that showcases the color of the mind and not the pigmentation, or tones of the flesh. From Ancient Kemet built by blacks to the Hadron Collider the largest scientific machine beneath france the switzerland the human mind has a capacity for creation that is infinite.

So i bring you back to the beginning of my initial thought and i hoped i have painted a picture of creation from all minds from now to our genesis, whether is is entrenched in architecture or harmonizing with tunes of soul. Before I introduce the man I am honoring on this black history month take a moment to reflect on your culture, your family, and picture one person who brought joy, a smile, or even a tear to you and hold it dear. Let that moment push you so you can create your moments for the next generation can reflect on.  Take a minute or as long as you like for that moment is now shared with you and that memory now echoes longer.

I will not delve deeply into my personal choice and lay his accomplishments down one by one I will simply say what he means to the African American community. His name is Sidney Poitier, a Bahamian-American born in 1927 and the first African American to win a Oscar and Emmy. He is 92 and is a cornerstone on how to carry yourself in life regardless of who you are or where your are born. He set the standard of how to accomplish whatever you set your mind on with grace and dignity. He not only opened doors for future generations but did so with class, humility, and a full understanding of those before him whose stories were never written. He is not just a testament to black history but a  landmark for hard work, grit, and love that we can all pour into whatever work or lifestyle motivates us from day to day. He is as beautiful as those 7 wonders, as complex as the Hadron Collider, and simple and real as the notes we humm to ourselves from day to day. From dishwasher to officer in the korean war to oscar winner he stayed a man of high moral, exercised a deep love for others and poured his heart into his passion.

Into the stars they went, in search of truth, glory, and redemption



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