The role of Sidney Poitier

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The role of Sidney Poitier





Sidney Poitier is an American film director, actor, writer, and political diplomat born in 1927 currently living in the Bahamas.  In 1963 he won the American best actor award and he was crowned the first Black person to win such an award. Starring in three box office films, in 1967 he was named the actor of the year. In 1999 the American Film Institute named Poitier the twenty second best actor of all times among 25 on the list (Bergman, 11). As a director Sir Sidney Poitier has directed several films such as ‘A Piece of The Action’ and ‘Stir Crazy’. He has held various top positions such as being a member of the Board of Directors at Walt Disney in the year 1995 to 2003 (Bergman, 46). In the year 1997 Sidney Poitier was appointed the ambassador of Bahamas to Japan and also an ambassador in the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

His relation with regards to the media, Sidney Poitier, was the only black superstar actor from the 1950s to the late1960s. This being the era of civil war, racism was still eminent in the United States. Sidney received the best awards and starred in blockbuster films. Black people in America had minimal chances of starring in films or taking up major roles. The media viewed Sidney Poitier as an icon for the Black community which was perceived to be a political gateway. The media viewed Sidney Poitier as a spokesman for the black community and during a press conference in 1967 the media confronted him with questions based on the riots that had erupted in Detroit and Newark. The media saw that Sidney’s role in acting symbolized his approach to politics. The White people became frustrated by this tact but their leaders assured them that the Blacks would cease from violence.

In the year 1967 the press posed racial questions to Poitier asking him the reason to rioting in Detroit and Newark. The media was biased as they judged Sidney Poitier to be the leader of the Blacks’ movement against racism in the nation. Filled with rage Poitier tried to enquire from the press why they chose to question him about racial issues above all other significant things such as his acting career. The media which was against the Black community branded Poitier as the Blacks’ spokesperson and they defined him by his skin complexion; this would be termed as media biasness and stereotyping. Stereotyping was reflected through the fact that Black Americans were the ones causing violence and they saw Poitier as the leader of the riots. Being an artist and icon the media would have chosen so many other things to ask but they narrowed down their curiosity to his racial background. With the climax of his position in the world of film making and as an actor Sidney Poitier created an enduring image which the Media found to be absurd compared to the position other Blacks held in the society. Around 1950 Blacks who featured in films were given stereotypic roles that justified racism in the nation. This was so different with Sidney Poitier which the media did not support at all. The media and the public could not separate the image of being dark skinned from the man himself.

White people viewed black people stereotypically and had the perception that Black people were just a group of people who had no significance in the society. In the filming industry Blacks were emulated as peasant, slaves, and sex workers who had no impor.............

Type: Essay || Words: 1178 Rating || Excellent

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