Happy Friday, Everyone! More Sidney Poitier
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
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:
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
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.