Sidney Poitier, the actor and activist who turned blacks into people

In September 1964, a year and a half after Sidney Poitier became the first black one who earned the Oscar to the best actor, the Beatles triggered a crisis at t

Sidney Poitier, the actor and activist who turned blacks into people

In September 1964, a year and a half after Sidney Poitier became the first black one who earned the Oscar to the best actor, the Beatles triggered a crisis at the town hall of Jacksonville, in Florida, by demanding the 23,000 Assisting the concert that were going to give in the Gator Bowl stadium were not separated by race and could be mixed.

Three weeks before it was released 'in the heat of the night', in which Poitier does the unthinkable, that is to return a slap to a white man, the Supreme Tribal of the United States had decided that the people of different races could get married . Seventeen months had spent since the premiere of 'Guess who is coming tonight', but that film was still banned in 17 of the 50 US states because it is a comedy that is a white one who is going to marry a black (poitier) That he is neither an idiot nor intends to steal, murder or kill anyone.

When those milestones are compared with the Poitier race, the tremendous social and political value of it remains. The history of the United States is that of a country divided by race, the only nation of the world that needed a civil war to end bondage.

Poitier led off the screen, to the street, his struggle for 'normalization', as he would say now, of the race. In the sixties he was one of the best-known faces of the marches in favor of equality summoned by Martin Luther King, sometimes in the company of other Hollywood stars, like the also black Harry Belafonte, or Charlton Heston, who would then finish turning Towards the National Rifle Association, a group that many consider the modern version of the Racist and Protestant Terrorist Group Ku Klux Klan.

Poitier, who was born in the United States by pure coincidence, when his mother, pregnant, was visiting in Miami, was sandwiched between the country of his ancestors, Bahamas, which was then a British colony, and his homeland, where, when He was 15 years old, police officers looked at him by putting a gun at his head and making jokes on whether they were going to put a bullet for the right eye or on the left.

That racial division was also visible in the world of the show. From 'the birth of a nation', in 1915, which describes blacks as prone to the violation of white women, to 'Resacón in Las Vegas', in 2000, where Asians are presented as imbeciles, racial stereotypes have It was the norm.

Against these clichés rose poitier at a time when being too direct in racial matter could be very harmful to health. The legacy of him is to have taken out the African-Americans from the ghetto to turn them into normal characters, as, for example, Woody Allen broke, with his peculiar idea of comedy, stereotypes about the Jews.

At a time when the United States is divided again by the race and in which, now, the 'diversity' is almost mandatory - if necessary, with a shoe - in the deals, the case of Sidney Poitier, the man who He was able to make black human beings, he is as relevant as six decades ago.

Updated Date: 07 January 2022, 15:30

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