Books and ebooks
Educational African American
The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography (Oprah's Book Club) (Paperback)
by Sidney Poitier (Author)
The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography (Oprah's Book Club)
"I have no wish to play the pontificating fool, pretending that I've suddenly come up with the answers
to all life's questions. Quite that contrary, I began this book as an exploration, an exercise in self-questing. In other
words, I wanted to find out, as I looked back at a long and complicated life, with many twists and turns, how well I've done
at measuring up to the values I myself have set."
In this luminous memoir, a true American icon looks back on his celebrated life and career. His body
of work is arguably the most morally significant in cinematic history, and the power and influence of that work are indicative
of the character of the man behind the many storied roles. Sidney Poitier here explores these elements of character and personal
values to take his own measure—as a man, as a husband and a father, and as an actor.
Poitier credits his parents and his childhood on tiny Cat Island in the Bahamas for equipping him with
the unflinching sense of right and wrong and of self-worth that he has never surrendered and that have dramatically shaped
his world. "In the kind of place where I grew up," recalls Poitier, "what's coming at you is the sound of the sea and the
smell of the wind and momma's voice and the voice of your dad and the craziness of your brothers and sisters...and that's
it." Without television, radio, and material distractions to obscure what matters most, he could enjoy the simple things,
endure the long commitments, and find true meaning in his life.
Poitier was uncompromising as he pursued a personal and public life that would honor his upbringing
and the invaluable legacy of his parents. Just a few years after his introduction to indoor plumbing and the automobile, Poitier
broke racial barrier after racial barrier to launch a pioneering acting career. Committed to the notion that what one does
for a living articulates to who one is, Poitier played only forceful and affecting characters who said something positive,
useful, and lasting about the human condition.
Here is Poitier's own introspective look at what has informed his performances and his life. Poitier
explores the nature of sacrifice and commitment, price and humility, rage and forgiveness, and paying the price for artistic
integrity. What emerges is a picture of a man in the face of limits—his own and the world's. A triumph of the spirit,
The Measure of a Man captures the essential Poitier.
About the Author
Born in Miami 1927 and raised in the Bahamas, Poitier began acting after the war, and soon made his
debut in Hollywood with No Way Out. He became the first black actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor. In 1968
he was knighted by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II and is the recipient of four honorary doctorate degrees, the last from New York
University. He has starred in over forty films, directed nine, and written four. He has received three Golden Globe Awards;
an American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award; the Kennedy Center Lifetime Achievement Award; and the Screen Actors
Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, among many other awards and honors. In April 1997 Poitier was named the Ambassador to Japan
from the Bahamas. Sir Poitier is currently president and CEO of Verdon Cedric Productions. He is married, has six daughters,
four grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.