Oprah Winfrey Book Club Choice: The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography by Sidney Poitier
One of my childhood heroes, Sidney Poitier, personified self-control and dignity even if all I knew was his screen persona.
In his book “The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography,” Poitier admits that he is a man of principle and this book is his way of measuring whether he has met the tough standards he has set himself throughout his life.
The book follows his life from his poor but proud beginnings on Cat Island in the Bahamas where his parents imbued him with self-respect and a powerful sense of right and wrong. These founding influences were to inform his career and his choice of roles once he started climbing the rungs of the movie ladder.
Sidney Poitier movies include “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”, “In the Heat of the Night”, “To Sir, With Love” and my personal favorite “They Call Me Mister Tibbs!” all feature Poitier making a significant statement about human values. In his book he explains how his personal beliefs shaped the characters that he played.
Written in diary style, “The Measure of a Man” tells some pretty horrendous stories that middle class white kids would never experience. The measure of Poitier is that he did not allow himself to become bitter and rebellious. He has used his experiences to shape his personality, to find the correct role-model approach that makes him the calm, assured human being that he is.
His life is a blueprint for those wrestling with negativity and a “victim” mentality. I may be thoroughly biased but Sidney Poitier has done the world a great favor by writing this thought provoking book which may be an inspiration for many. The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography is indeed one of those books that that may be a perfect gift for someone struggling to find their identity, or connect more deeply with their inner values. This book was also included in Oprah’s Book Club.
To learn more, visit Amazon > The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography by Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier Winning the Academy Awards Honorary Oscar