Feb. 20: Actor Sidney Poitier is Born in Miami

Every day during the month of February, WPGC will feature an important moment in Black history.  These daily vignettes are read by local children in the District and surrounding areas.

On Feb. 20, 1924, Sidney Poitier was born in Miami, Fla.  He began his acting career in theater, working valiantly to rid himself of his Bahamian accent when he was first rejected for a leading role.  Soon, he was noticed during a theatrical production and was asked to take a role in the 1950 film, No Way Out.  It was at that point his work started to get noticed and his roles more prominent.

Poitier became the first African-American male actor to get nominated for an Oscar in 1958 for his role in The Defiant Ones but it was in 1963 he earned the highest award.  The actor took home the gold statue and became the first African-American to win an Academy Award for Best Actor for his film Lilies of the Field.  Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American to win an Oscar for her 1939 role in Gone With the Wind.

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