The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography
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The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography

4.1 56
by Sidney Poitier
     
 

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"I have no wish to play the pontificating fool, pretending that I've suddenly come up with the answers to all life's questions. Quite that contrary, I began this book as an exploration, an exercise in self-questing. In other words, I wanted to find out, as I looked back at a long and complicated life, with many twists and turns, how well I've done at measuring up

Overview

"I have no wish to play the pontificating fool, pretending that I've suddenly come up with the answers to all life's questions. Quite that contrary, I began this book as an exploration, an exercise in self-questing. In other words, I wanted to find out, as I looked back at a long and complicated life, with many twists and turns, how well I've done at measuring up to the values I myself have set."
—Sidney Poitier

In this luminous memoir, a true American icon looks back on his celebrated life and career. His body of work is arguably the most morally significant in cinematic history, and the power and influence of that work are indicative of the character of the man behind the many storied roles. Sidney Poitier here explores these elements of character and personal values to take his own measure—as a man, as a husband and a father, and as an actor.

Poitier credits his parents and his childhood on tiny Cat Island in the Bahamas for equipping him with the unflinching sense of right and wrong and of self-worth that he has never surrendered and that have dramatically shaped his world. "In the kind of place where I grew up," recalls Poitier, "what's coming at you is the sound of the sea and the smell of the wind and momma's voice and the voice of your dad and the craziness of your brothers and sisters...and that's it." Without television, radio, and material distractions to obscure what matters most, he could enjoy the simple things, endure the long commitments, and find true meaning in his life.

Poitier was uncompromising as he pursued a personal and public life that would honor his upbringing and the invaluable legacy of his parents. Just a few years after his introduction to indoor plumbing and the automobile, Poitier broke racial barrier after racial barrier to launch a pioneering acting career. Committed to the notion that what one does for a living articulates to who one is, Poitier played only forceful and affecting characters who said something positive, useful, and lasting about the human condition.

Here is Poitier's own introspective look at what has informed his performances and his life. Poitier explores the nature of sacrifice and commitment, price and humility, rage and forgiveness, and paying the price for artistic integrity. What emerges is a picture of a man in the face of limits—his own and the world's. A triumph of the spirit, The Measure of a Man captures the essential Poitier.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
Reflective, generous, humane . . . moving . . .[Poitier] writes with vivid emotion.
New York Times Magazine
Revealing . . . Poitier invites us to re-examine his work and, through it, our history.
Ebony
In this powerful book, [Poitier] shares his touchsotnes with us and makes us question what foundations guide our own lives.
Los Angeles Times
“With the unwavering sense of dignity and worth . . .this man’s authenticity is earned by the life he describes.”
Dallas Morning News
An affecting new memoir.
Washington Post
Reading The Measure of a Man is somewhat akin to having a worthwhile conversation with a revered older relative; he doesn’t always tell you what you want to hear, but you appreciate it just the same.
American Way
Having already penned a book about his professsional life, legendary actor Sidney Poitier tackles a greater subject--life itself--with this new spiritual autobiography.
USA Today
Candid memoirs from teh actor who has starred in more than forty movies, directed nine, and written four.
bn.com
Sidney Poitier's is perhaps as influential and groundbreaking a career as any in Hollywood history. He came to New York from his boyhood home in the Bahamas and, after a rocky start, went on to star in such memorable classics as Blackboard Jungle, A Raisin in the Sun, Lillies of the Field (for which he won the Best Actor Oscar, the first ever awarded to an African American man), and To Sir, with Love, among dozens of others. In his spiritual memoir, The Measure of a Man, Poitier looks back at his pioneering life and career and the lessons learned along the way.
Cleveland Plain Dealer
[Poitier's] diction is crisp and his deep, velvety voice caresses every word.
Lancaster Sunday News
Poitier...has wonderfully confiding tone as he begins reading what is subtitled his spiritual autobiography.
Richard Masur
If there was ever an actor whose life and work influenced his time, it was Sidney Poitier.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Given the personal nature of this narrative, it's impossible to imagine hearing anyone other than Poitier, with his distinctive, resonant voice and perfect enunciation, tell the story. In his second memoir Poitier talks about his childhood in the Caribbean, where he was terribly poor by American standards, but quite happy, swimming and climbing all he could. One of eight kids, Poitier was sent to live with an older brother in Miami when he started to get into difficulties as a teen. But frustrated by his inability to earn a living and by the disparaging way whites treated him, Poitier left Miami for New York. There he worked as a dishwasher, started a drama class and launched a celebrated acting career that led to starring roles in such classics as To Sir, with Love and Raisin in the Sun. Poitier's rendition of these events is so moving that listeners will wish this audio adaptation were twice as long. Simultaneous release with the Harper San Francisco hardcover (Forecasts, May 1). (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Library Journal
Winner of this year's Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album, this production is a delight in every way, with the narration by Poitier appropriately dramatic and mellifluous. The story of his meteoric and fated rise to fame as a successful actor respected by his peers almost belies his hardscrabble beginnings on Cat Island off the coast of the Bahamas. And the "lucky star" Poitier falls under is actually the common denominator among all successful people: a willingness to work harder, and an innate resourcefulness, including the ability to listen to one's own instincts and to move when the time is right. If this sounds philosophical, it is; the book is much more than another celebrity memoir. It is not only Poitier's reflection on a long life in the world of arts and entertainment but also a statement of his personal views on what it means to be a good man, honed in discussions with friends and fellow travelers on life's journey who were themselves of a philosophical frame of mind. Highly recommended. Mark Pumphrey, Polk Cty. P.L., Columbus, NC Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Sidney Poitier's The Measure Of A Man is the autobiography of the only black actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor for his outstanding performance in "Lilies of the Field" in 1963. He is also the thirty-sixth recipient of the Screen Actors Guild's Life Achievement Award for his outstanding career and humanitarian accomplishments. In The Measure Of A Man, a complete and unabridged eight-hour, 6 cassette audiobook edition narrated by Poitier, we are presented with the elements of his character and personal values that are key to his international renown both professionally and personally. His introspective examination of what the life experiences which informed his performances we are gifted with a picture of a man of truth, passion, balance, and a triumph of the spirit over a multitude of hardships and obstacles. Flawlessly produced and performed, The Measure Of A Man is "must" listening for all Sidney Poitier fans.
Sayre
Poitier's second autobiography -- reflective, generous, humane -- is moving, as Poitier's memory keeps returning to the values and struggles of his parents . . ."
The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061357909
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/26/2007
Series:
Oprah's Book Club Series
Edition description:
Oprah's Book Club Edition
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
207,436
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.62(d)

Read an Excerpt

Women of Spirit

Stories of Courage from the Women Who Lived Them


By Katherine Martin

New World Library

Copyright © 2001 Katherine Martin
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-57731-823-1



CHAPTER 1

Inspired to Do the UNEXPECTED


Jon Borysenko


"My children were suffering, my marriage was suffering. And, once again, my inside wasn't matching my outside.... Yet I couldn't get myself to leave. If I jumped ship at age forty-two, that was it for me. I'd never get back into an academic environment. And I'd have given up over twenty years of fussing and scraping and competing in order to do what I wanted.... If I left [Harvard], no one would ever listen to me again. I'd wither up in the suburbs, all alone and with nobody listening."

Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., is one of the most prominent figures on the mind- body landscape, blending science, medicine, psychology, and spirituality in the service of healing. At one time a cancer researcher, she holds three postdoctoral fellowships from Harvard and cofounded the mind-body clinical program at Beth Israel/Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

It's hard for me to look though the threads of my life for a courageous moment. What on earth would that be?

I was a pathologically shy child, practically crippled with fear. I had to rehearse speaking to people, going over and over a simple statement before I could make it. I never ate in front of people — that would have been much too embarrassing. And I've always feared doing the wrong thing, making the wrong choice, disappointing people. My life has been marked by things that I felt called to do, even though I was in some terrible state of fear. So mine is a wimpy story. To this day, I am painfully introverted, a rather odd thing for a person who travels the world two hundred days a year lecturing to thousands of people, looking for ways to build bridges and to inspire people to reach deep inside themselves for what is meaningful and kind and good in their lives. I'm a much better candidate for what I did in the earlier part of my career, which was being locked up in a laboratory with my microscope.

I started on the path to that microscope when I was ten.

In the fifth grade, I had a terrifying nightmare in which my family and I were in a jungle with headhunters chasing us and booby traps, snakes, and scorpions all around. When I awoke, I was literally in a psychotic state; I couldn't tell the dream from real life. I was absolutely sure that headhunters were chasing my family and would kill us all. I shook out my shoes, thinking scorpions were in them. Within days, I developed a second mental illness as a way of trying to cope with the first: obsessive-compulsive disorder. Excessive hand washing was just the beginning. During the next few months, I developed a dozen different ritual behaviors, such as reading upside down, backwards, and three times in a row. If I were interrupted in any of my rituals, I had to start over, because the rituals kept my family safe from horrors that only I could see, horrors that existed behind a thin veil in the unmanifest world. This was pretty potent stuff. I can't even begin to access the terror that I lived with during that time.

My parents were so distressed that they would cry themselves to sleep at night. I could hear them and began trying to hide my behavior, because now I needed to protect them not only from the headhunters, snakes, and scorpions but also from the pain of not being able to help me. In spite of my efforts, I'd often get sent home from school — like the time I hallucinated that headhunters were running down the hall, throwing poison darts at me, which, through the extraordinary power of the mind, actually produced red marks on my arms. Believe me, when you go to the school nurse with red marks on your arms and say, "I've been hit by poison darts," they send you home fast!

My parents took me to a psychiatrist who ran tests, but he didn't really know how to treat me. The odd thing about my behavior was that it seemed random. I had a beautiful childhood in Brookline, Massachusetts. My parents were very loving. I wasn't traumatized, molested, or bothered by anything in particular. I had it easy. The only upsetting thing in my very normal childhood was that we'd moved across town; that tells you something about how fragile I was in those days.

Inside the illness, however, was a gift: it drove me to do something I might never have done. I sat to pray. I did not come from a prayerful family. I came from an agnostic, culturally Jewish family. But when push comes to shove, it's a human tendency to pray, and those prayers are focused and deep. They gave me a definite sense that I could recover but that it would take an enormous act of will: I could never, ever do another one of those ritual behaviors, like reading upside down. And I knew, as surely as I knew my name, that if I ever did, I would stay stuck in that mental illness forever. As I prayed, a state of peace came over me, and a poem went through my head. In a funny way, it was a poem about courage. If I repeated the poem, instead of doing the rituals, maybe I'd be okay:

Somewhere in the darkest night
There always shines a little light
This light up in the heavens shines
To help our God watch over us
When a small child is born
The light, her soul, does adorn
But when our only human eyes
Look up in the lightless skies
We always know
Even though we can't quite see
That a little light burns far into the night
To help our God watch over us.


It was only a matter of days before I came back into my right mind. The nightmares stopped. The hallucinations stopped. I simply returned to normal. And nobody ever asked, "What happened?" I'm sure they were too terrified and thought, "My God, she seems okay, let's not rock the boat." My illness remained one of those deep, dark family secrets.

Throughout my life, when I feel overwhelmed, I repeat that poem. And it calms me.

Three things became clear to me as a result of that childhood experience: I wanted to understand the human mind and psychology; I wanted to understand the physical functions of the human brain, to know how it was possible that somebody could become crazy instantly and recover instantly; and I wanted to know more about God, spirituality, and inner knowing. I felt that my recovery was an answer to a prayer and that, somehow, I'd seen the face of God. My whole life would become a braid of these three strands: psychology, biology, and spirituality. That's where it started.

I thought I was on course when I went to Bryn Mawr College, to Harvard Medical School for a Ph.D. in medical sciences, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship there, and then to Tufts Medical School, climbing the academic ladder, starting as an assistant professor of anatomy and cell biology and eventually doing cancer research. I was bringing together the biology and the psychology. It was intellectually interesting. But the spark was missing — and that spark was spirituality.

I'd married at twenty-one, right out of college. I'd had a child in the second year of medical school. Now my marriage was failing. Stress was everywhere. I turned to meditation and yoga, and I began a spiritual search, which seemed so disparate from the cancer research.

My external life wasn't reflecting my internal life.

At that time, Herbert Benson was doing some of the first research that looked at the autonomic nervous system, at how behavior could regulate blood pressure. I had worked with him over the summer following my graduation from Bryn Mawr. Eventually, he would research meditation and what he called the "relaxation response" and I suddenly realized — Aha! this is the kind of research I want to do.

People thought I was absolutely nuts to consider working with Benson. I was about to be tenured at Tufts. I was doing important cancer research. I had lots of grant money and a great teaching record. I'd be leaving all this for a soft-money position, meaning that I'd have to write my own grants, I'd have no guarantee of a position beyond the one-year hire, and I'd be demoted to instructor rather than promoted to professor. It would be my second postdoctoral fellowship. Just to study meditation.

As I was contemplating this irrational decision, my father developed chronic lymphocytic leukemia. His case was virulent, and they put him on high doses of cortisone. Unfortunately, he was one of the unlucky few who suffer a side effect known as "manic psychosis." Having been the world's most patient, loving, listening, compassionate person, he became like a stranger inhabiting his own body with pressure of speech and flights of ideas, making it impossible to talk to him. It was excruciating to watch this drug disappear him. His body was alive, but his soul was dead.

My mother and I kept speaking to the doctors, trying to find an alternative way to deal with the cancer. They'd say, "Look, if we take him off the drug, the cancer cells will proliferate, and he'll die." So we became stuck in that bind of quality of life versus quantity of life. When someone isn't in their right mind, the family has to choose for them. And that's a terrible burden, a terrible responsibility.

While we were dealing with this decision, my father had to have surgery to remove his spleen and was taken off the cortisone. Briefly, he came into his right mind. By this time, my parents had made the migration that Jews make from Boston to Florida, and I flew down for his spleenectomy. I found my father lucid and loving and thought, Thank God, he has some good time left. Two days after I returned home, I got a call at 6:00 in the morning. The following evening, my father had waited for my mother to fall asleep, put a chair underneath the window, and jumped. They were some thirty floors up. Apparently, it was his way of saving the family from further suffering.

Because I was the medical one in the family, I felt responsible for his death. I was a cancer-cell biologist and yet I had been of no use whatsoever. This haunted me, and I decided that doing research with cancer cells wasn't my calling. More important to me were the people with the cancer. If I could help even one family, then I would find some meaning in my father's terrible death.

As good fortune would have it, Benson had gotten his very first grant in a brand-new field called behavioral medicine. And I left my painfully secure tenure track at Tufts. By now I had divorced and remarried and had had another child. Going from a professor's salary to postdoctoral status was difficult. But it put me on track with my vision.

I was at Harvard from 1978 to 1988, and during that time, I won the Medical Foundation Fellowship for what amounted to a third postdoctoral fellowship in a field called psychoneuroimmunology. I also managed to get licensed as a clinical psychologist and, by 1980, to start a mind-body clinic with Benson and an Israeli psychiatrist named Ilan Kutz. This practice became the biggest part of my personal growth. Every week, I worked with three or four different groups of people with various illnesses, starting with cancer but eventually including AIDS and other stress-related disorders.

Talk about courage. The people in those groups had it big time. Like the twenty-seven-year-old woman with stage-four Hodgkin's disease who had two young children and was so sick with chemotherapy that the only way she could manage was to put the two kids in the bathtub so she'd be next to the toilet to vomit. From these people, I learned a lot — how people make meaning out of their lives, how they find good things in bad circumstances, and how important we are to one another. What one person can't do alone can be done when several people come together, just from the goodness of their hearts and their desire to help.

People with serious illnesses tend to reflect on the big questions, the existential ones. "Am I just this body or, when I die, will there be something else?" And "If there's something else, what am I doing here on planet earth anyhow? What's the point of this? Is it to learn, is it a test, is there a heaven, is there a hell?" People start to wonder, "Was my life a success? Are there any loose ends?" Forgiveness becomes critical, not only of yourself but of other people, to making peace. In a certain way, I became, de facto, a pastoral counselor. Being with those groups was a blessed part of my life.

The other side of the story, however, was that I worked excessively and commuted an hour or two each way from the south shore into the center of the city. As associate director of the division of Behavioral Medicine, I was doing research, seeing individual patients, and running as many as five groups a week, sometimes into the evening. Each group was made up of twenty patients, and I had to know them all intimately, be keenly aware of their progress, and listen to their stories.

I was absolutely exhausted.

I had no life of my own, none whatsoever. My children were suffering. My marriage was suffering. And, once again, my inside wasn't matching my outside, because what interested me the most was the spiritual dimension of the work and for me to be explicit about that dimension wasn't appropriate in that medical environment.

Yet I couldn't get myself to leave. If I jumped ship at age forty-two, that was it for me. I'd never get back into an academic environment. And I'd have given up more than twenty years of fussing and scraping and competing to do what I wanted. How many people would have loved to be in my position at Harvard, even though I was only a lowly instructor in medicine? I could have stayed in that position indefinitely, gotten grants, run clinics. Who was I to throw it all up in the air saying, "Well it's not quite what I want to do; I'd rather be talking with people about meditation and spirituality"? My brother was flabbergasted: "You'd give up a real career to do that? How flaky! What a terrible risk!" And the egotistical, narcissistic part of my fear warned, "The only reason people listen to you is because you're at Harvard." I'd written a book, Minding the Body, Mending the Mind, which was based on our clinical program at Harvard. Unexpectedly, it became a best-seller and I was sure that it sold so well only because I was at Harvard. If I left, no one would ever listen to me again. I'd wither up in the suburbs, all alone and with nobody listening.

That was my state of mind when, one night during an evening program for AIDS patients, I said, "This might seem like a cheap shot, because you have something from which you could die soon and I'm healthy, but the truth is, none of us knows the moment of our death. It's one of those mysteries and surprises. We need to live every moment as if it could be our last and not be lulled into a sense of complacency that we have forever." By way of example, I said, "I could be in an accident on my way home tonight and die before you."

On my way home that night, I was in a head-on collision.

Fortunately, it wasn't at high speed and the other person suffered very minor injuries. I would have been fine, but the shoulder harness on my seat-belt didn't catch and my face slammed against the steering wheel. My nose opened up like the hood of a car and just about lifted off my face. I ended up in the hospital for five days for reconstructive surgery, and as I was lying there with my nose in a sling, I reflected on the fact that I'd just been given one big, fat cosmic punch in the nose — literally. If God had appeared in a burning bush, it couldn't have been more obvious. I could listen to my fear and perish — because I would surely die early doing my Harvard job. Or I could jump into the abyss, even though I had no other job lined up, even though I didn't know what would happen next.

I called from the hospital and gave my resignation.

Later, when I was researching A Woman's Book of Life, I discovered that what I went through was right on target for a woman in her forties. It's a time when we experience a movement toward integrity, toward authenticity. We're not young anymore, but we're not old either. And we start looking backward and looking forward, trying to make meaning out of where we've been and putting into perspective where we want to go. By then we know our weak points and our strengths, we know what gives us joy and what makes us dry up. And we know something about what we've been given to do in terms of service. I believe strongly that we all have some unique gift that we give to the world. It may not be a big thing. It may be the most ordinary thing. This is a time when we begin to reflect on how we give life to the world. What are our dreams and visions? What does life look like now? If we find that life is smaller than our vision, if the way we've arranged our lives blocks us from offering our gift, then we suffer enormous stress. I've heard it time and again from women who say things like, "I just knew if I didn't leave this job, I was going to die!" Or "If I stayed in this relationship, it would kill me!" It's remarkably visceral for women. "If I continue down this path, I'm going to lose tissue." And that's what was alive in me.

I have never been graceful about these kinds of changes. I have never said, "It's really clear that this is what I need to do next." I go kicking and screaming, which is another thing I discovered to be common among women. I often ask groups of women, "How many of you have stayed in a situation much longer than you should have because you were afraid? You knew it was time to leave, you were called to do something else, but you just couldn't mobilize." Almost every hand goes up. We stay too long. We stay out of compassion. We stay out of fear. We stay out of a hundred different motivations. We don't follow our hearts. And, in a way, you can say that courage — from the French root coeur, which means "heart" — is in following our hearts.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Women of Spirit by Katherine Martin. Copyright © 2001 Katherine Martin. Excerpted by permission of New World Library.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Sidney Poitier was the first black actor to win the Academy Award for best actor for his outstanding performance in Lilies of the Field in 1963. His landmark films include The Defiant Ones, A Patch of Blue, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and To Sir, With Love. He has starred in over forty films, directed nine, and written four. He is the author of two autobiographies: This Life and the "Oprah's Book Club" pick and New York Times bestseller The Measure of a Man. Among many other accolades, Poitier has been awarded the Screen Actors Guild's highest honor, the Life Achievement Award, for an outstanding career and humanitarian accomplishment. He is married, has six daughters, four grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.

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Measure of a Man 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 56 reviews.
AUTONOMOUS More than 1 year ago
I have given this book as gifts to young friend going off to college, new husbands and new fathers. This book is a story of character; how it is sourced, how it is built and how it is lived. It should be required reading for all high school males. It could serve as a good partial remedy to the poor character standards that seem all too common today.
DebbieAC More than 1 year ago
Always admiring Mr. Poitier, I picked this up as an Audio Book. Sidney Poitier read the book himself, so you get a better sense. Had he not been a long time actor, we might have gotten a better feel--he has learned to modulate his voice and inflectons to suit his will. This makes the book real and interesting, but there are no blips to "read behind the scenes" what he's "really" like. Being a successful long time actor, I would have expected him to read well and he did. This book chronicled his life from early childhood hardscrabble in the Bahamas on a remote island, thru moving to Nasseau, Miami, then New York and Hollywood. He started in abject poverty and he worked his way up--it was not an easy climb and you know without him telling a single shred of detail--that he grew up with extreme prejudice--that was the era in the US--he started acting in the mid-fifties. It's remarkable what he's achieved. His acting career started out as no more of a fluke than him washing dishes in New York. The book is a slow read--in that Sidney's voice is slow and modulated--lovely--but still a bit slow. The last chapter or the last CD is the slowest--I kept wanting to take it out, but thougth I might miss something key. It was an interesting story, well told, and I got a sense of who this man was, and how he was shaped to become the man he did. I really respect this man's achievements, and knowing what this might have taken behind the scenes. Now that I've listened to the book, I have a much clearer picture of the man. This is portrayed as a spiritual book, and that I did not see. It did not seem to be a spiritual book, but one of a man explaining how he came to be who he was, and also with a bit of introspection. Buy it as an audio.
donnareads911 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. I could literally hear Mr. Poitier's voice as I read it, and couldn't put the book down. First of all, I read it since Oprah recommended it. It just had to be good! And I was able to use the library, so I didn't have to commit to buying it! I have since "talked it up" to anyone who asks about it, so much so, that my mother-in-law has just put in a request to have me locate a large print version for her so she can keep it forever. (Yes, my word is golden). For some, I'm sure this book will not touch them as it did me, but my first "feel" for this man was watching him with my favorite actress, Katharine Hepburn, and from then on, he was a draw. This book gives a deeper "measure" of who Mr. Poitier is in the first person.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Simply one of the most candid and revealing autobiographies ever written. I own an original hard cover edition and it is one of my most treasured possesions. I learned so much about this remarkable man. His secret love affair with Diahann Carroll made me swoon! Its a love affair that deserves its own book or movie alone. Sidney Poitier captured me with his story. I'm a fan for life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book would have been a five star if he had not used one very offensive word all through the book. I have always liked his movies and admired him as a person. I will still watch his movies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful depiction and story of how he so humbly carries himself with such dignity and a sense of humility. Reading Sidneys' story help me to see appreciation and faith through a new lense.
BarmouthDragon More than 1 year ago
Breaking through all sorts of barriers, Poitier was the first black actor to win the Academy Award. The Measure of a Man sheds light on the much admired man who was born into poverty and emerged with a grace and dignity not often seen in Hollywood or among those who "make it." In reading this autobiography, his tone and style are easy and pleasant. Well worth reading and might I suggest as a gift for young people struggling with their own trials and challenges?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
&#182; The Measure of a Man, by Sidney Poitier, is an interesting autobiography about his life growing up as an African-American in a world of prejudice. He doesn't experience racism until he moves to Nassau as a boy, and soon learns that he's on the bottom of the food chain. In order to work his way up, he must leave the Bahamas and move to the U.S and find work.
&#182; In the U.S, Sidney soon learns that it is also difficult for people like him to find wealth, so he eventually finds a Negro acting guild. He eventually talks to the right agents, and finds himself a few plays.
&#182; To be completely honest, this book just didn't capture my attention the whole way through. It was was awfully slow for me, and was a nonstop bore for many,many pages. I love the authors tone of writing, and the story of his life, but it didn't have much of a climax. This is only my opinion, so i still recommend the book to readers interested in Sidney Poitier and his life story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting
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READ
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YesterdayDreams More than 1 year ago
I Loved this Book.
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hearyehearye More than 1 year ago
Should be read by all - young and old.
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