What happens when a man lives by his convictions? He unwittingly sets the bar to which many men measure themselves. Reginald Poitier taught his sons that “the measure of a man is how well he provides for his children.” His son, Sidney, took those words to heart and went on to leave a legacy for the entire world to benefit from. Sidney Poitier, in his autobiography The Measure of a Man tells of his journey, in his own words.
A Hollywood staple for over 50 years, Mr. Poitier shares a story that many people can relate to but few choose to share. Much has been written about him, but nothing can compare to a person writing about himself. It takes a courageous man to admit his shortcomings, and his fallacies, yet show his vulnerabilities revealing his human-side. Letting us know at the end of the day, he is still just a man who puts on his trousers one leg at a time.
The Measure of a Man peels back the layers of his life. Starting with his humble West Indian beginnings, his hunger, the longing for more than the destiny society had in store for him (and many other Black men), and his eventual achievement of those goals. This testament to self-discipline, drive, determination and professional integrity ultimately led to him becoming the first black actor to win the Academy Award for best actor in the film Lilies of the Field in 1963. In one performance his unrivaled place in motion picture history was forever sealed.
Poignant Pearls of Wisdom:
- “I am what I have become – the nature of opposites.” (p.207).
- “The greatest part of that legacy from my father is the knowledge that in discipline and commitment lies hope.” (p.189).
- “You can’t be passing on to your kids a strong foundation if you don’t have one yourself – because whatever foundation you do or don’t have, that’s what you’re going to pass on.” (p.176).
Don’t be fooled by the title because anyone (young men, women and young girls) who reads this book will be touched by the sincerity, the authenticity and the courage which exemplifies The Measure of a Man.
Let’s BOND over BOOKS rates THE MEASURE OF A MAN as MELODICALLY MEANINGFUL (151-300 pgs.)...just the right mixture of content and pages.
Permission granted by HarperCollins Publishing.