Saturday Open Thread | Sidney Poitier Week

Have a great weekend everyone!

We continue with Mr. Sidney Poitier Week!

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In the Heat of the Night

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Clips

Buck and the Preacher

Love this movie!

Buck and the Preacher is a 1972 American Western film starring Sidney Poitier as Buck and Harry Belafonte as the Preacher. Buck is a trail guide leading groups of former slaves trying to homestead in the West, immediately after the American Civil War. The Preacher is a swindling minister of the “High and Low Order of the Holiness Persuasion Church”. Together, they protect a wagon train from bounty hunters.

This is the first film Sidney Poitier directed. Vincent Canby of The New York Times said Poitier “showed a talent for easy, unguarded, rambunctious humor missing from his more stately movies”.

The notable blues musicians Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, and Don Frank Brooks performed in the film’s soundtrack, composed by jazz great Benny Carter.

Buck and the Preacher opens with a deep rhythm and blues soundtrack reminiscent of a John Wayne Western that was given deep soul and harmony from the 1970s. The camera switches scenes to a camp of African-Americans who have been just freed from slavery and are heading West for a better life. A band of men on horseback terrorize the camp by burning wagons and tents and killing men, women and children. The leader of these white bandits, DeShay (Cameron Mitchell), is wearing an old cavalry jacket hinting at his military past.

Buck (Sidney Poitier) enters the scene and dismounts his horse to walk up to his home. DeShay makes Buck’s wife, Ruth (Ruby Dee), wave to him as if everything is all right. Buck begins to approach the house and is then caught in a firefight between DeShay’s outlaws. Buck remounts his horse and flees after being chased by the bandits. He then stops at an apparently empty campsite with a burning campfire, food and a horse. A naked man, the Preacher (Harry Belafonte), is bathing at a nearby stream and approaches the campsite to dress, but Buck steals the Preacher’s horse and his breakfast at gunpoint.

The Preacher dresses and takes Buck’s horse to the nearest town where he grabs a drink and finds out the location of the nearby camp from an African-American boy working at the general store. The Preacher is approached by DeShay and told that any information helping him to find Buck or bringing Buck in dead or alive will be worth a five hundred dollar reward. The Preacher is excited about this because he has a good feeling Buck is at an African-American wagon camp of which the little boy spoke.

Buck returns to the camp and is told by the men that an elderly Indian wise man thinks they should continue West and not turn back. The elder is shown throwing animal teeth on a towel, which the audience assumes to be a prediction of the future. Buck agrees to further help the group as the Preacher appears and punches Buck in the face. Buck then agrees to feeding the Preacher and giving him his horse back – after which the Preacher must depart and leave their camp. Buck does this because he fears the Preacher’s motives for wanting to stay after he is caught looking at the women folk and wondering aloud where the money was kept.

The Preacher leaves the group and stalks Buck when he leaves to make a deal with the Native Americans. The Native Americans pursue the Preacher and Buck bargains with them for protection of the wagon group. The Native Americans are portrayed as shrewd bargainers who constantly haggle for a better deal with Buck. After reaching an agreement, the Preacher has a new-found respect for Buck because of his hard work effort and desire to help the traveling freed slaves.

While the two protagonists are negotiating, DeShay and his men raid the camp again and do more damage. The Preacher turns cheek at this point in the film and stops attempting to corner and kill Buck for the reward because of Buck’s compassion towards the wagon camp. The Preacher then tells Buck where DeShay and his men are camped and suggests an ambush.

Buck agrees to the Preacher’s plan, and together they ambush DeShay’s campsite – killing him and most of his men. The sheriff from a nearby town pursues the pair, but they escape on horseback. The two men – along with Buck’s wife – then decide to rob the bank at the town where they murdered DeShay’s men in hopes of gaining more money for the African-Americans in the camp so they have a better chance of surviving the winter. The three unsuccessfully rob the mail office first and then cross the street to rob the bank. The sheriff returns to town during the robbery and chases the three robbers – along with their bags of loot – out of town.

Buck, the Preacher and Ruth ride hard for the Indian Territory and reach it just in time. A Native American war party is defending the boundaries of their territory and does not permit the sheriff and his posse to cross into their lands. The sheriff continues the search and finds the wagon camp but decides not to attack it. One of the men in the posse suggests they attack the camp to bring out Buck, but the sheriff disagrees arguing that the African Americans did no harm.

In anger, the man kills the sheriff and orders the posse to attack. Buck approaches the wagon camp and lures the posse into the mountains. A gunfight ensues, and the Preacher is wounded but the posse is defeated. The Native Americans who said they would not fight Buck’s battle send several warriors to help and end up being the force that turns the tide of the shootout in Buck’s favor.

The movie ends with Buck, the Preacher and his wife riding happily into the prairie.

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Harry Belafonte And Sidney Poitier In 'Buck And The Preacher'

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Watch the full movie here.

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Friday Open Thread | Sidney Poitier Week

Happy Friday, Everyone!  More Sidney Poitier

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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner


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GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER, Katharine Houghton, Isabel Sanford, 1967

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GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER, Roy Glenn, Beah Richards, Sidney Poitier, 1967.

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GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER, Sidney Poitier, Spencer Tracy, 1967.

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We saw through the years how Sidney’s roles took on more depth in his portrayal as a Black man, his characters became more multi-layered, when told through the lens of Black writers like Lorraine Hansberry.

And from 3 Chics commenter:
Joyce says:

April 23, 2015 at 10:13 am (Edit)

Sidney Poitier fought for the right to be protrayed in “respectful” roles for Blacks. As a result of Mr. Poitier’s journey many black actors and actresses followed this path. Before Mr. Poitier, I remember watching shows of Shirley Temple and black people in theatre as only butlers or maids. The butlers and maids spoke in a thick dialect accentuating this blackish drowl which was very elongated and emeshed with bafoonery words and it was extremely embarrasing. Sidney Poiter didn’t speak this way. He was as elegant as one could be. I loved watching Sidney.

Sidney fought with civil rights leaders. I often wonder how many of today’s black celebrities seperate themselves from current civil rights. They refer to themselves as the “New Black”. They believe racism doesn’t exist anymore. I find this overwhelmingly sad because as our brothers and sisters protest against police brutality, the New Black, like the GOP, state “Post Racial”.

If you state post racial you state no change is needed. We, blacks, not only need change of the police force, we need change of our commmunity and we need change in our financial position in the black community.

Over the past several months with the unrest of the nation over police brutality, manifested through protests, I find there are other categories of blacks other than the new black within the black communites:
1. Blacks supportive of the protests (All incomes)
2. Blacks quiet about the protests (Middle class income or just stable jobs. Ones not wanting to rock the boat.)
3. New Blacks (Wealthy celebrities . Ones who are rich and feel no need to discuss racism as it doesn’t exist.)

Blacks supportive of the protests speak for itself as they feel a need for change in all areas of the black community. The quiet blacks feel they are living stable and content and I feel they work from a level of fear. Fear of losing their job or their current financial status. However, they do feel there could be improvements. I think it would be easy for them to be for the advancement of the black communities. The New Blacks are the most dangerous to the black community because they feel blacks who haven’t made it could pull themselves up by the bootstraps as they did. Additionally, they feel there is no racism and side with post racial whites, i.e., Charles Barkley, Ben Carson. This causes the Whites who feel there is no racism to remain rooted in their beliefs and causes the efforts of the protestors to be long and drawn out.

All races I know, excepts for our black race, are in agreement on important issues. The black race should have meetings collectively to discuss race and how it affects the black community. We allow MSM, White America, to dictate our “State of Affairs”. We should have summits and review hard data and statistics to determine what our “State of Affair” is within black communities. Then we need to discuss how to improve these communities and deliver aid and support.

I will leave these thoughts today as my brother is in surgery for 8 more hours and they are calling us in the waiting rooms for updates.

I hope this post give room for thought. I really want our people to prosper.
Thanks 3ChicksPolitico for the blog.

A Raisin in the Sun

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A Raisin in the Sun is a 1961 drama film, starring Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil, Diana Sands, Roy Glenn, and Louis Gossett, and adapted from the play of the same name by Lorraine Hansberry. It follows a black family that wants a better life away from the city.

In 2005, A Raisin in the Sun was selected for preservation in the United States of America National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”

Walter and Ruth Younger, their son Travis, along with Walter’s mother Lena (Mama) and sister Beneatha, live in poverty in a dilapidated two-bedroom apartment on Chicago’s south side. Walter is barely making a living as a limousine driver. Though Ruth is content with their lot, Walter is not and desperately wishes to become wealthy, to which end he plans to invest in a liquor store in partnership with Willy and Bobo, street-smart acquaintances of Walter’s.

At the beginning of the play, their father has recently died, and Mama is waiting for a life insurance check for $10,000. Walter has a sense of entitlement to the money, but Mama has religious objections to alcohol and Beneatha has to remind him it is Mama’s call how to spend it. Eventually Mama puts some of the money down on a new house, choosing an all-white neighborhood over a black one for the practical reason that it happens to be much cheaper. Later she relents and gives the rest of the money to Walter to invest with the provision that he reserve $3,000 for Beneatha’s education. Walter passes the money on to Willy’s naive sidekick Bobo, who gives it to Willy, who absconds with it, depriving Walter and Beneatha of their dreams, though not the Youngers of their new home. Meanwhile, Karl Lindner, a white representative of the neighborhood they plan to move to, makes a generous offer to buy them out. He wishes to avoid neighborhood tensions over interracial population, which to the three women’s horror Walter prepares to accept as a solution to their financial setback. Lena says that while money was something they try to work for, they should never take it if it was a person’s way of telling them they weren’t fit to walk the same earth as them.

While all this is going on, Beneatha’s character and direction in life are being defined for us by two different men: Beneatha’s wealthy and educated boyfriend George Murchison, and Joseph Asagai. Neither man is actively involved in the Youngers’ financial ups and downs. George represents the “fully assimilated black man” who denies his African heritage with a “smarter than thou” attitude, which Beneatha finds disgusting, while dismissively mocking Walter’s lack of money and education. Asagai patiently teaches Beneatha about her African heritage; he gives her thoughtfully useful gifts from Africa, while pointing out she is unwittingly assimilating herself into white ways. She straightens her hair, for example, which he characterizes as “mutilation.”

When Beneatha becomes distraught at the loss of the money, she is upbraided by Joseph for her materialism. She eventually accepts his point of view that things will get better with a lot of effort, along with his proposal of marriage and his invitation to move with him to Nigeria to practice medicine.

Walter is oblivious to the stark contrast between George and Joseph: his pursuit of wealth can only be attained by liberating himself from Joseph’s culture, to which he attributes his poverty, and rising to George’s level, wherein he sees his salvation. To Walter, this is the American dream, which he pursues as fruitlessly as Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman, with the added handicap of being black in white America. But whereas Loman dies at the end of his story, Walter redeems himself and black pride at the end by changing his mind and not accepting the buyout offer, stating that they are proud of who they are and will try to be good neighbors. The play closes with the family leaving for their new home but uncertain future.

The character Mrs. Johnson and a few scenes are often cut in reproductions. Mrs. Johnson is the Younger Family’s Neighbor. She is nosy, loud and cannot understand how the family can consider moving to a white neighborhood. Her lines are employed as comic relief, but Hansberry also uses this scene to mock those who are too scared to stand up for their rights.

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Loretta Lynch Confirmed as First African-American Woman Attorney General | April 23, 2015 Edition

CONGRATULATIONS, AG LYNCH!

Loretta Lynch has won confirmation to serve as the nation’s attorney general, ending months of delay. The vote was 56-43 in the Senate Thursday. (April 23, 2015)

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Delta Sigma Theta Sisters will always have you back, AG Lynch!

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FYI: Janet Wood Reno, was the first woman AG (born July 21, 1938) served as the Attorney General of the United States, from 1993 to 2001. She was nominated by President Bill Clinton on February 11, 1993, and confirmed on March 11, 1993.

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Justice for Freddie Gray |Open Thread

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Photo By Patrick Semansky/AP

A child watches a protest march for Freddie Gray as it passes by, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van.

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The Baltimore Police Department released the names of six police officers suspended with pay after the arrest of Freddie Gray, who died of a spinal injury on Sunday, as the mayor promised answers. ONE OFFICER IS HOLDING OUT ON MAKING A STATEMENT.

The officers were identified by the department Tuesday as: Lt. Brian Rice, 41, who joined the department in 1997; Officer Caesar Goodson, 45, who joined in 1999; Sgt. Alicia White, 30, who joined in 2010; Officer William Porter, 25, who joined in 2012; Officer Garrett Miller, 26, who joined in 2012; and Officer Edward Nero, 29, who joined in 2012.

Posted in Department of Justice, discrimination, Domestic Terrorism, Freedom, Hate Crime, Human Rights, Institutional Racism, Jim Crow laws, Justice for Freddie Gray, Media, Protests, Racial Bias, Racial Profiling, Racism | Tagged , , , , , | 57 Comments

Thursday Open Thread | Sidney Poitier Week

Today’s featured movie is A Patch of Blue and Uptown Saturday Night!

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Wiki: A Patch of Blue is a 1965 American drama film directed by Guy Green about the relationship between a black man, Gordon (played by Sidney Poitier), and a blind white female teenager, Selina (Elizabeth Hartman), and the problems that plague their relationship when they fall in love in a racially divided America. Made in 1965 against the backdrop of the growing civil rights movement, the film explores racism from the perspective of “love is blind.”

Shelley Winters won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, her second win for the award, following her victory in 1959 for The Diary of Anne Frank. It was also the final screen appearance for veteran actor Wallace Ford.

Scenes of Poitier and Hartman kissing were excised from the film when it was shown in film theaters in the Southern United States.[2] These scenes are intact in the DVD version. According to the DVD audio commentary, it was the decision of director Guy Green that A Patch of Blue be filmed in black-and-white, although color was available. In the 1990s, Turner Entertainment Co. colorized the movie for broadcast on the Turner-owned cable station TNT.[citation needed] The colorized version was not released on VHS or DVD, and has not been shown since shortly after its initial broadcasts.

The film was adapted by Guy Green from the 1961 book Be Ready with Bells and Drums by the Australian author Elizabeth Kata. The book later won a Writers Guild of America award. The plot differs slightly from the film in that it has a less optimistic ending. In addition to the Best Supporting Actress win for Winters, the film was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Elizabeth Hartman), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Black-and-White) (George Davis, Urie McCleary, Henry Grace, Charles S. Thompson), Best Cinematography (Black-and-White) and Best Music (Original Music Score). Hartman, 22 at the time, was the youngest Best Actress nominee ever, a record she held for ten years before 20 year-old Isabelle Adjani broke her record in 1975.[3]

Elizabeth Hartman And Sidney Poitier In 'A Patch Of Blue'

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Wednesday Open Thread | Sidney Poitier Week

Happy HUMP day, Everyone! We hope you’re enjoying Sidney Poitier week with 3 Chics.

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To Sir, With Love

To Sir, with Love is a 1967 British drama film, starring Sidney Poitier, that deals with social and racial issues in an inner-city school. James Clavell directed and wrote the film’s screenplay, based on E. R. Braithwaite’s semi-autobiographical novel To Sir, With Love (1959).

The film’s title song “To Sir With Love”, sung by Lulu, reached number one on the U.S. pop charts for five weeks in the autumn of 1967 and ultimately was Billboard magazine’s No. 1 pop single for that year. The movie ranked number 27 on Entertainment Weekly’s list of the 50 Best High School Movies.

A made-for-television sequel, To Sir, with Love II (1996), was released nearly three decades later, with Poitier reprising his starring role.

Mark Thackeray (Poitier), an unemployed engineer, applies for a teaching position at the North Quay Secondary School in the tough East End of London. He comes from British Guyana via California.

Thackeray learns from the staff of North Quay that most of the pupils have been rejected from other schools, and their antics drove their last teacher to resign. The pupils live up to their reputation. Led by Bert Denham (Christian Roberts) and Pamela Dare (Judy Geeson), their antics progress from disruptive behaviour to distasteful pranks. Thackeray retains his calm manner but a turning point comes one morning when he discovers one of the female pupils has mischievously left a used sanitary towel burning in the classroom grate. He loses his temper, then informs them that from now on they will be treated as adults and allowed to discuss issues of their own choosing for the remainder of the term.

Thackeray wins the class over, except for Denham, who continues to bait him. Thackeray suggests a class outing to a museum, which turns out to be a success. He loses some of this new-found support when he defuses a potentially violent situation between Potter (Chris Chittell) and a gym teacher, Mr Bell. In class, he demands that Potter apologise directly to Bell for the incident even if he believes Bell was wrong. The group refuse to invite Thackeray to the class dance, and when Seales’ (Anthony Villaroel, the only black pupil in the class) mother dies, the class takes up a collection for a wreath but refuses to accept Thackeray’s donation. At this point, the headmaster advises him that he feels “the adult approach” has failed; future class outings are cancelled, and Thackeray is to take over the boys’ gym classes. Meanwhile Thackeray receives an engineer job offer in the mail.

He starts to win the pupils back after he beats Denham in a boxing match, but tells him that he has genuine boxing ability and suggests that Denham teach boxing to the younger pupils next year. Denham expresses his admiration for Thackeray to his fellow pupils, Thackeray wins back their respect and is invited to the class dance.

At the dance Barbara Pegg (Lulu) announces a “ladies’ choice” dance and Pamela singles out Thackeray as her partner. The class present him with a gift, while Lulu sings the film theme. Thackeray is too moved for words and retires to his classroom.

Two youths rush into the classroom, and upon seeing Thackeray they begin mocking his gift and joking that they will be in his class next year. Thackeray realises that he has a job to do and he tears up the job offer letter, signifying that he is going to stay on at the school. He realises how affectionate he feels towards the children and understands he can never part from them.

To Sir, With Love

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Tuesday Open Thread | Sidney Poitier

 

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More Sidney!

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Today’s feature is Lilies of the Field.

Wiki: Lilies of the Field is a 1963 film adapted by James Poe from the 1962 novel with the same name by William Edmund Barrett, and stars Sidney Poitier, Lilia Skala, Stanley Adams, and Dan Frazer. It was produced and directed by Ralph Nelson. The title comes from Matthew 6:27-33 a portion of the Sermon on the Mount in the New Testament and its parallel scripture from Luke 12:27-30. It also features an early film score by prolific composer Jerry Goldsmith.[2]

It tells the story of an African American itinerant worker who encounters a group of East German nuns, who believe he has been sent to them by God to build them a new chapel.

Homer Smith (Sidney Poitier) is an itinerant handyman/jack-of-all-trades who stops at a farm in the Arizona desert to obtain some water for his car. There he sees several women working on a fence, very ineptly. The women, who speak very little English, introduce themselves as German, Austrian and Hungarian nuns. The mother superior, the leader of the nuns, persuades him to do a small roofing repair. He stays overnight, assuming that he will be paid in the morning. Next day, Smith tries to persuade the mother superior to pay him by quoting Luke 10:7, “The laborer is worthy of his hire.” Mother Maria Marthe (Lilia Skala, called “Mother Maria”), responds by asking him to read another Bible verse from the Sermon on the Mount: “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. And yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

Mother Maria likes things done her way. The nuns have essentially no money and subsist by living off the land, on what vegetables the arid climate provides, and some milk and eggs. Even after being stonewalled when asking for payment, and after being persuaded to stay for a meal, and against his better judgment, Smith agrees to stay another day to help them with other small jobs, always with the faint hope that Mother Maria will pay him for his work.

As Smith’s skills and strengths become apparent to the nuns, they come to believe that he has been sent by God to fulfill their dream of building a chapel for the townsfolk—who are Mexican and impoverished—as the nearest church is miles away.

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Sidney Poitier In 'Lilies Of The Field'

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