Molding and defining the African-American image on screen has been a complex task; particularly in the ever-changing entertainment space. In the midst of unimaginable racial injustice and unequal treatment, Sir Sidney Poitier demanded excellence not just from himself but from an industry that had historically cast Black and brown faces aside. With a career stretching over 70 years, Sir Poitier’s character, grace and profound integrity have helped mold the Black movie star, setting the blueprint for all of the men and women that would grace the screens and stages after him.
It was not simply Sir Poitier’s iconic roles in Porgy and Bess and The Defiant Ones that would thrust him into the spotlight. His commanding presence made him one of the biggest box-office draws in the 1960s with a plethora of films including, A Raisin in the Sun, Paris Blues, To Sir, with Love, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner and In the Heat of the Night. Before Sir Poitier, the leading Black male was something of a myth. There certainly weren’t any Black male sex symbols before the Academy Award winner stepped on the scene, taking only roles that garnered a sense of dignity and class.
In celebration of Sir Poitier’s extensive career and legacy, Lexus and ICON MANN™ have teamed up to #SaluteALegend. The legendary Louis Gossett Jr., prolific filmmaker John Singleton and critically acclaimed actors, Aldis Hodge and Terrence Howard among others have joined the campaign in celebration of Sir Poitier’s 90th year. “We owe everything that we’re doing now, and will do, to the career that he has had,” Singleton said of the foundation Poitier has laid.
Learn more about the esteemed actor, best-selling author and director’s life here.