Diversity at the Oscars – By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

Diversity at the Oscars – By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

The keys on the piano may be black and white but sometimes they seem to be miles apart.

Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier

Michael Caine has asked Black actors to be patient. If there were an Oscar for patience Black actors would have won it many times. Remember Hattie McDaniel? She was the first Black person to win an Academy Award. Hattie won it in 1939 for best Supporting Actress in the movie ‘Gone with the Wind’ in which she played the role of Mammy.
On the night of the ceremony Hattie had to sit in a segregated area reserved for Blacks.
In her acceptance speech Hattie recognized the import of the moment and hoped that she was a ‘credit to her race.’ One of her greatest desires was to be buried in the Hollywood cemetery among he ‘showbiz types’ but even in death she found segregation.
The cemetery was for whites only. Hattie died in 1952, two years before Brown v the Board of Education.  

It would take another 25 years after Hattie for a Black actor to win an Oscar. He was Sidney Poitier who won it for ‘Lilies of the Field’ in 1964. He too realized the significance of the Oscar to peoples of color. In a short acceptance speech Poitier hoped that the doors would be opened to more coloreds.
In other words he wanted to see more diversity in Hollywood. In a world where phoneyism is rife and where smart gadgets are mistaken for the real script Sidney Poitier is respected as an authentic voice, a decent man that exudes class and dignity.

Read more – Diversity at the Oscars – By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine


Also view:

Sidney Poitier Wins Best Actor: 1964 Oscars – YouTube

▶ 2:18  –  YouTube video


Nov 23, 2010 – Uploaded by Oscars

Anne Bancroft presents Sidney Poitier the Oscar for Best Actor for Lilies … Sidney Poitier Accepts the 20th AFI Life Achievement Award in 1992  …


Sidney Poitier Receives an Honorary Award: 2002 Oscars …

▶ 7:34  – YouTube video


Feb 19, 2008 – Uploaded by Oscars

Sidney Poitier receives an Honorary Oscar for his body of work at the … Sidney Poitier Accepts the 20th AFI Life Achievement Award in 1992  .


Sidney Poitier in Wikipedia…. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidney_Poitier

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  • Yvonne  On 01/31/2016 at 8:46 am

    The year 2002 was the year of the Black people for Oscars. Denzel Washington won for Training Day, which in my opinion, was not one of his best performances, and Halley Berry won for Monster Ball, followed by Sydney Poitier who got a Lifetime Achievement Award. Also, that year produced most Black Beauty pageant winners across America. So I guess this meant that Blacks were given their big hurrah already by their clean sweep and now they just need to be quiet until whenever it suits Hollywood to reward them again. I don’t think a boycott is the way to go but ALL actors, regardless of colour, need to stand together strong for the good of their craft and tell the Academy that their bias will not longer be tolerated. There are also white actors who should be nominated and go on to win but they don’t so we really can’t look at this as a Black thing even though the Black thing stands out more. It’s the people who are given the responsibility of nominations that they need to give the big heave ho to.

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