A reporter from Investors Business Daily who’s been assigned to write a profile piece on Sydney Poitier asked this morning for a quote. I thought about it for five seconds and tapped this out: “Starting in the mid to late ’60s with the advent of political militancy among African Americans, Sidney Poitier began to be dissed in certain circles as a kind of house nigger. His offense was having handsomely profited from playing black guys that white audiences were comfortable with at the time, guys who were handsome, dignified and totally unthreatening.
“But look at those performances today — the ones in The Defiant Ones, A Raisin in the Sun, Pressure Point, To Sir With Love, In The Heat of the Night, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner — and they’re all convincing and solid and clear and centered. Poitier is an excellent actor, and I have to say I was very touched when he had his moment at the Oscars two or three years ago. Touched because I knew he deserved the applause, and because I realized at that moment that he’s one of the ultimate Men of Dignity.”
But then the reporter didn’t get back with a thanks or no thanks or anything, so I figured I’d just run it myself.