[Epub] ➞ The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography (Oprah's Book Club) ➣ Sidney Poitier – Golanvideoagency.info
This novel, published when Poitier was 73, is a philosophical reflection of his life, his accomplishments, and what makes for a life well lived in his opinion It is also about race, integrity, grit and perseverance.Poitier was born on Cat Island, a tiny island in the Bahamas He was not aware of the color of his skin or what significance this would have on his life while on Cat Island Indeed, there was not even a piece of glass that would have showed him his reflection in his childhood home He lived a life of simplicity on the Island, with routines that could be counted on It wasn t until age 10, when his family moved to Nassau that he saw his first automobile In Nassau, Poitier was swept up with a grew of kids that stole and he narrowly escaped going to jail His parents sent him to the US to live with one of his brothers and his family He began working as a dishwasher, but ended up auditioning for a role in a play He was told that since he didn t read, he should work as a dishwasher or something He had never seen anything shameful in his work up until that point After that, a Jewish man began to teach him to read every night after work He worked hard and took acting classes drawn with a passion to acting from the start.Poitier discusses the roles he was offered and refused because he did not feel the characters actions portrayed integrity He discusses his feelings about being black and outsider in America He talks about his close friends, with whom he was often asked to sign an paper not to socialize with, because of their progressive views Of course, he always refused He speaks about how his value system, sense of self and integrity formed at an early age in a life of simplicity and how this grounded him He let his ideals and strength of character guide him, even if this meant refusing a role and going hungry.He talks about the movies he was part of, the actors he becomes friendly with, and his rise to fame, and the breaking of so many race barriers along the way He speaks about his family, and his relationships with his two wives and children.He is a gifted actor, writer and speaker To hear him reflect upon his life within which he overcame such adversity is inspirational One point that came through loud and clear in all of this was that now that are lives are complicated and enriched in media, we have lost the simplicity that leads to quiet and profound reflection.I m not a big consumer of celebrity memoirs, but was challenged to read this as part of Book Riot s 2018 Read Harder Challenge Sidney Poitier is a brilliant actor whose movies I ve very much enjoyed and I was so pleased to get to know the man behind the actor in this memoir I listened to the audio version, narrated by the author which has won numerous awards, as he is such a gifted speaker If you decide you are interested in this book and are wanting to learn about this charismatic, talented man I would highly recommend listening to the audio version. i am cheating and listening to the audiobook, not reading this but trust me when i tell you, reading it is not the way to go and this comes from someone who never does audiobooks but the book is written like it s just what SP was saying in a conversation with a ghostwriter who would ve should ve then turned around and put it into a much easier to read format it s hard to follow and doesn t flow.but the audiobook is great SP s voice is so soothing and wonderful such lilt and timbre i love listening to himit s like a bedtime story. I went into this book with the highest of hopes and an open mind My mother LOVES Potier and said she really enjoyed it and we tend to agree on most books But part way through, I felt frustrated and a bit annoyed with him.A recommendation on the jacket says that reading this book is like having a conversation with a vanerable older relative, and I agree There are moments when his insights on life and sprirtual aspects are interesting, and I found myself wanting to remember quotes for future use But, for the most part, it feels like an older relative giving the usual in my day kids were better speech to the next generation While I agree that kids today are too addicted to their play stations, it s unrealistic to say that they would be better off growing up frolicking in the forest as he did as a child There is no arguing that Potier is a legend and that he overcame incredible odds to find his place in American Cinema But the writing comes off a bit cocky, not sure if that is the ghost writer of if it s the tone of his speech or what, and I felt a bit like I was being preached too while reading it. I had the good fortune to listen to Poitier speak a few years ago at a conference He was a last minute stand in for someone who probably was considered current How lucky we were to have gotten to hear him speak instead He moved a room of hundreds to tears, recalling snapshots of his life in the Bahamas, Miami and New York His talk inspired me to check out this audiobook, which was equally moving Many of those snapshots can be heard in extended form in this book Poitier s voice is charming, emotional, and unmistakable I can t imagine anyone else having read this out loud It was truly like he was sitting in the car with me, what with his well timed chuckles, growls and my favorite the you know scattered throughout A true actor and artist.Just skip the last 3 chapters Boring Sidney Poitier is one of my favourite actors because of his integrity as a person first and foremost This book tells the reader about the struggles he had on his way to his acting career, of which there were many Throughout this book his manners, ethics and integrity shine through He shows us how men think, and how they can choose to overcome any obstacle put in front of them This reminds me of times gone by which is also one of the reasons that I like it Thank you for this book Sidney In summation, the wise old actor tells us Life is hard and full of contradictions and you gotta have hope.There I ve just saved you some time and possibly money.I realize that saying anything bad about Sidney Poitier and what he might have to tell us in this book is probably tantamount to pissing on apple pie, so before I do that and assuming you do like your pie sans urine I want to say what s good about the book because there are quite a few things that are.The book is a fast read, pleasant and mostly enjoyable Quite frequently Poitier offers nuggets of wisdom and observation and insight culled from his life as an actor, as a boy living in tropical poverty in the Bahamas, as a father and erstwhile outsider, and as a black man hellbent on breaking through the glass ceiling in a racist culture In fact, his memories of his boyhood are quite evocative.The problem with the book comes when we ask ourselves what we look for and expect in an autobiography How confessional do we want it to be And, if it is not a warts and all, kiss and tell book which I can tell you, this ain t by a mile then can we consider the philosophical musings as an acceptable substitute, as surrogate indicators of who a person is and what his life has meant Possibly, and yet, this book left me wanting to know about the dark side of Sidney Poitier or at least about his career it s something he alludes to near the end of the book but he completely fails to give specifics or elaboration To read this, the worst thing he ever did was steal corn as a kid I mean, everybody has fucking done that To his credit, Poitier mentions how he is ever mindful of his public image, and that he has always maintained it by selecting films with humanitarian themes and uplifting and dignified roles, and also by living true to a moral credo But, apart from that, he never indicates how much of who he really is is public image and how much of him isn t Poitier is very evasive about huge chunks of his life We learn very little about his marriages and love lives, scant bits about his children, and not much about life in Hollywood His stints at direction are nary mentioned We do learn about his struggle with prostate cancer a little and about some scary moments where he came close to death or run ins with angry racists and others But by the end, I feel cheated by a memoir that would pass the approval of a Hollywood publicist, which this would, easily.The book is frequently repetitive as Poitier explores his primary theme of the domestic and cultural forces that shaped his life and attitudes It seems as though he finds 20 different ways to or less say the same things In lovingly evoking the stern discipline of his parents, Poitier finds himself on shaky ground, saying great things about their caring usage of corporal punishment, for instance, in contrast to the supposedly poor parenting styles of today I never felt quite persuaded by that.A year or so ago I read Bob Dylan s Chronicles and it too was a non traditional memoir Like Poitier, Dylan tends to muse and wax philosophical and forego a lot of typical biographical detail However, I gave Dylan s memoir five stars The difference between these two books is that Dylan won me over by being funny, not taking himself too seriously, and by delighting and surprising me in every paragraph Poitier just doesn t do those things here.I realize Mr Poitier is too cool for the room, but I can t decide if the usage of so many conversational questions at the end of paragraphs You know , You follow , Does that make any sense to you is charming or annoyingly offputting Since I m posing the issue, I suppose it s the latter You dig And then there s that sappy humorless sense of self righteousness You know the kind I call it pandering patriotic highmindedness You hear it when Tom Hanks or Gregory Peck narrate documentaries or the way that talking heads sing songingly lower their voices invoking some moment of American history in a Ken Burns film, or when Burns himself sappily invokes the greatness of our great land in promos during PBS pledge drives And I won t even mention politicians This book has a bit too much of that high toned pandering and self importance.So, rather than calling this an autobiography or even a memoir, we might better call this a palette of personal musings All in all, this was a genial, mostly enjoyable ramble But if you want to know the whole story of Sidney Poitier, this ain t the place to go. I was kind of surprised by this book After I learned that this had won the Grammy for the spoken word recording in 2001 I think that was the year , I was even intrigued I had always liked Mr Poitier as a talented actor, and I was looking forward to reading his own thoughts The book was not so much about his Hollywood career I guess there is a previous book he had written that delves into that , though he occasionally touched on some aspect of that when he deemed relevant, but about his upbringing and his thoughts about things in the world and life I found it very interesting to read his personal views on a wide variety of subjects, and I gained respect for him as a person Although I did not agree with some of his religious views, I admired his character, honesty and depth Now I wish to seek out his other book to read about him. i ve been wanting to read this book for many years i saw an interview with sidney poitier on oprah once, and he made such an impression on me and wow what a book and what a man from humble beginnings to hollywood and he s still humble one of those books that will leave you thinking i absolutely love this quote we re all somewhat courageous, and we re all considerably cowardly we re all imperfect, and life is simply a perpetual, unending struggle against those imperfections. In This Luminous Memoir, A True American Icon Looks Back On His Celebrated Life And Career His Body Of Work Is Arguable 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 Here, Sidney Poitier Explores These Elements Of Character And Personal Values To Take His Own Measure As A Man, As A Husband, And Father, And As An ActorPoitier Was Uncompromising As He Pursued A Personal And Public Life That Would Honor His Upbringing And The Invaluable Legacy Of His Parents Committed To The Notion That What One Does For A Living Articulates Who One Is, Poitier Played Only Forceful And Affecting Characters Who Said Something Positive, Useful, And Lasting About The Human ConditionHere, Finally, Is Poitier S Own Introspective Look At What Has Informed His Performances And His Life Poitier Explores The Nature Of Sacrifice And Commitment, Pride And Humility, Rage And Forgiveness, And Paying The Price For Artistic Integrity What Emerges Is A Picture Of A Man Seeking Truth, Passion, And Balance In The Face Of Limits His Own And The World S A Triumph Of The Spirit, The Measure Of A Man Captures The Essential PoitierAuthor Biography Sidney Poitier Was The First And Remains The Only African American Actor To Win The Academy Award For Best Actor For His Outstanding Performance In Lilies Of The Field In , But He Believes That Will Soon Change, Given The Excellence Of African American Talent In The Industry Today He Has Starred In Over Forty Films, Directed Nine, And Written Four His Landmark Films Include TheDefiant Ones, A Patch Of Blue, Guess Who S Coming To Dinner, And To Sir, With Love Among His Many Accolades, He Has Recently Been Selected As The Thirty Sixth Recipient Of The Screen Actors Guild S Highest Honor, The Life Achievement Award For An Outstanding Career And Humanitarian Accomplishment Sidney Poitier performs magic in The Measure of a Man Only true nobility can write the personal history and experiences of a 70 something black man from the Bahamas with such power to speak profoundly to a 22 year old white girl from Grand Rapids The same page will draw the reader to tears both from laughter and from sorrow At 243 pages, Measure is not difficult, which makes reading from cover to cover relatively easy in one sitting What s most powerful about Poitier s spiritual autobiography is that he s not trying to manipulate the reader one way or another It s entirely possible to be completely changed by the end and yet leave the book disagreeing with him in some areas no less than at the beginning He doesn t expect his readers to agree with him, he s simply telling his story And an interesting story it is As a boy, Poitier lived in an intense poverty, but this poverty was nothing like anyone in America would understand He says in the first chapter, In a word, we were poor, but poverty there was very different from the poverty in a modern place characterized by concrete It s not romanticizing the past to state the poverty on Cat Island didn t preclude gorgeous beaches and a climate like heaven, cocoa plum trees and sea grapes and cassavas growing in the forest, and bananas growing wild 3 Through his journey from Cat Island to Florida to New York to Hollywood, Poitier never lost the sense of self given to him by his parents, especially his father This is possibly one of the most profound themes of the book the identity instilled by a parent to his son This dignity guided him through the roles that he chose, or didn t choose, as well as how he saw his success in Hollywood and even the industry of Hollywood itself.Any reader, once reading this book, will understand the privilege just experienced from Poitier opening the door, even if only slightly, to his life and the influence his father had on him and, consequently, the entire American film industry.