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HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIR SIDNEY POITIER

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File photo of Sir Sidney with Senator Fred Mitchell, then Foreign Minister and then Deputy Prime Minister at the Beverly Hilton for an official dinner by the Bahamas Government 23 August 2012

Saturday 20 February 2021 marked the 94th birthday of Sir Sidney Poitier, the Bahamian American actor, the first winner of an academy award by a Black person for a leading role.  He won for his portrayal in the film Lilies of The Field.  He helped in the Bahamian liberation struggle. He was a civil rights activist in the United States.  He became a producer, director and author. He was born in Miami to Cat Island farmers. He was raised in Cat Island and later Nassau and then the United States.  It was following his move to Harlem in New York at the age of 15 that he began an incredible journey from semi-literate to  winder of a Tony Award and the Oscar.  He was knighted by the Queen in 1974 and received from President Barak Obama, the Presidential Medal of Freedom the highest civilian honour in the United States. Senator Fred Mitchell paid tribute to Sir Sidney in the Senate on Friday 19 February 2021.  The photo shows the two men at an earlier birthday celebration at the home of Sir Sidney in Beverly Hills, California.