The Path To Becoming An Icon Was A Long Shot, But Sidney Poitier Did It

“Historical circumstances have changed,” Sidney Poitier said. “During the period when I was the only person here — no Bill Cosby, no Eddie Murphy, no Denzel Washington — I was carrying the hopes and aspirations of an entire people.” Poitier became an icon, but it wasn’t easy. His trailblazing story exemplifies hard work, dedication, and passion. If you have no clue about Poitier’s story, we’ve got you covered. As you read along, you’ll find out who Poitier is and everything he stood for as an African American in Hollywood.

A Premature Birth

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Daniel FallotINA via Getty Images
Daniel FallotINA via Getty Images

Statistics show that babies born between 32 and 33 weeks during the pregnancy have a 95% survival rate. Sidney Poitier’s parents, Reginald and Evelyn Poitier, hailed from Cat Island in the Bahamas. Reginald worked as a cab driver, but one time, he and Evelyn made a trip to Florida to see produce in between cab driving.

While in Miami, Sidney was born on February 20, 1927, two months premature. He was very frail, so his parents had to stay in Miami for three extra months to ensure his survival.