First Black leading man Sidney Poitier reflected the civil rights movement on screen

Martin Luther King Jr. introduced the keynote speaker for the Southern Christian Leadership 

Conference's 10th anniversary banquet in 1967. His “soul brother” was their guest.

Conference's 10th anniversary banquet in 1967. His “soul brother” was their guest.

“He has carved himself an imperishable niche in our nation's history,” King told the 2,000-strong audience.

 “I call him a pal. I admire him as a humanist.” That man was Sidney Poitier.

Poitier, who died at 94 on Jan. 7, 2021, broke the mold of what a Black actor could be in Hollywood.

The stereotypes of lazy servants and beefy mothers in pre-1950 Black films were generally accurate.

The stereotypes of lazy servants and beefy mothers in pre-1950 Black films were generally accurate.

In three separate columns in the New York Daily News in 1957, 1961, and 1962, Dorothy Masters praised Poitier's .