Good morning to all. Just a reminder that the 15 minute devotional will start at 9:00 a.m. Please dial 1-605-562-8401. The access code is 670-7270.
When I woke up this morning, Sidney Poitier was on my mind for many reasons. One of those reasons is because of the limited media attention given him after his death. I do not like to make comparisons, but when you see and hear that some other person(s) of stardom has received so much attention, it is difficult not to make the distinction. This is a man who has been highly regarded nationally and internationally for his impact as an activist in the Civil Rights Movement and brilliance in acting. There was limited coverage about his life and contributions to society. Let’s not play the race card, but something was wrong with this picture. The media needs to find a sense of balance in their reporting.
On Monday, January 17, we celebrated and honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and rightfully so, for indeed he will always be remembered for his dedication, contributions and commitment to all people. If we do not pay homage and celebrate the contributions made by our own, it may not get done. I lift up Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. because the timing is so relevant and he too was an impact during the Civil Rights era.
Sidney Poitier was a groundbreaking movie star and paved the way in the movie industry for so many other Blacks. We have been, some of us, accustomed to seeing Blacks in roles that were degrading and demeaning, but he changed the attitude regarding Blacks in the movies. It was Sidney Portier who transformed how Black people were portrayed on screen. If we were to look closely at his career, it would reveal how astonishing he was as an actor and a human being. It is worth noting that he was the first Black person and Bahamian to win the Academy Award for best actor in 1964 for Lilies of the Field. He also received a Grammy Award and two Golden Globe Awards. He once said in an interview that he would never take on an acting role that would disgrace himself or his people. One of the films that I so vividly recall is Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, which depicts an interracial marriage relationship in a positive light. Can you imagine how that must have gone over in a society in the 1960’s? Remember, interracial marriage was illegal. We can now look back and say, “Look how far we have come.” For it was in June 17, 1967 when the anti-miscegenation laws were struck down by the Supreme Court. My point is that in every walk of life, there have been persons who were somewhat responsible or played a role in making change for the betterment of all people.
Proverbs 3: 27 says, “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.“ With that being said, let’s not hold back the good this man, Sidney Poitier. has done. I do not have any power, but I can bring to the attention of the few people that I know the worth of this great person. His brilliance and determination to succeed
His family describes him best with these words, “There are no words to convey the deep sense of loss and sadness we are feeling right now. We are so grateful he was able to spend his last days surrounded by his family and friends. To us Sidney Poitier was not only a brilliant actor, activist, and a man of incredible grace and moral fortitude, he was also a devoted and loving husband, a supportive and adoring father, and a man who always put family first. He is our guiding light who lit up our lives with infinite love and wonder. His smile was healing, his hugs were warmest refuge, and his laughter was infectious. His legacy will live on in the world, continuing to inspire not only with his incredible body of work, but even more so with his humanity.”
Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
I close with this, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Galatians 6:9
May the life we live speak for us. May the legacy of Sidney Poitier continue to inspire and touch our lives in very special ways.
Not a sermon, just my thoughts!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor