In 1963 American actorbecame the first man of colour to win an Academy Award for his role in “Lillies of the Field”. This October the California African American Museum will present Poitier with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Sculptor John Outterbridge will also be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Poitier and Outterbridge will join former winners boxer , artist Betye Saar, choreographer Donald McKayle, artist Artis Lane, and musician Herbie Hancock.
The CAAM has a mission to research, collect, preserve, and interpret the art, history, and culture of the African American people. The CAAM, which was founded in 1977, focuses on the western portion of the United States. Currently the Museum houses more than 6,000 pieces of work and documents; with the library holding over 20,000 books.
Born on February 20, 1927 in Miami, Poitier was rasied in the Bahamas, worked menial jobs, spent time in the US Army, and did a stintt on Broadway before he moved west and made his mark on Hollywood. Was knighted in 1974 and as a citizen of the Bahamas – a British Commonwealth at the time – officially carries the title of Sir Sidney.
This father of six, grandfather of four, and great grandfather of two is best known for his roles in “To Sir with Love” and “In the Heat of the Night” but he has appeared in numerous others roles including his first credited role in 1950 in “No Way Out”, “Cry the Beloved Country”, “The Defiant Ones”, “Lillies of the Field”, “The Greatest Story Ever Told”, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”, “They Call Me Mr. Tibbs”, “Uptown Saturday Night”, “Let’s Do it Again”, “Sneakers”, “Mandela and de Klerk”, and his last role in “The Jackal”.