Just one week into 2022, another titan of cinema has fallen. On Thursday, January 6th, Sidney Poitier—the first Black man to ever win the Oscar for best actor—died at 94. The timing of Poitier’s loss poetically and painfully echoes that of another Black icon of cinema, Cicely Tyson, who died in January of last year. Like Tyson, Poitier projected superhuman levels of grace both on and off camera. They both became civil rights activists, not necessarily by choice but because their era demanded it, and used their influence as movie stars to advocate for tangible change for Black people across the nation. Both Tyson and Poitier, who acted together in 1959’s Odds Against Tomorrow, were synonymous with Black excellence—a testament not only to all that we could achieve, but all that we could do for others in the process.
Source: Pocket – To Sidney, With Love