15th September 1980: Sidney Poitier , the American actor and film director. Hollywood’s first real black star, his films include ‘Something of Value’ in 1957, ‘Lilies of the Field’ in 1963 and ‘In the Heat of the Night’ in 1967. He directed ‘Stir Crazy’ in 1980. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

NAACP Press Release

NAACP mourns the passing of Sidney Poitier, philanthropist, activist, pioneering trailblazer in the arts, and the first of many accolades. 

His storied legacy is a guiding light for countless individuals. As an actor, he took on roles that shined a light on injustices and questioned societal norms at the time; as an activist, he used his voice and talent to fight against systemic oppression; and as a philanthropist, he dedicated his resources to giving back. Undoubtedly, he has touched the world with his actions, words, deeds, and kind heart. From entertainment to human rights, he has raised the conscience of people worldwide to be more compassionate, virtuous, and aware. 

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His life serves as a testament to enduring will and perseverance. As a lifelong friend of the NAACP, multi Image Award winner, an inductee into the hall of fame, Poitier will be sorely missed and regarded as a permanent fixture for inspiration. 

We at the NAACP are grateful for his contributions that will continue to impact generations to come. We will forever hold him in our hearts and carry his words with us. 

“If I’m remembered for having done a few good things and if my presence here has sparked some good energies … that’s plenty.” – Sidney Poitier

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Rest in Power. 

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