Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Measure of a Man

The Measure of a Man is an autobiography by Sir Sidney Poitier (IPA pronunciation: ['pwɑtiˌeɪ]). I would like to, first of all, extend thanks to my friend, He-Who-Musn't-Be-Named for lending me this book.

Reading Poitier is like talking to him. I must say, I had quite a good chat with him -- I am a good listener because he 'talked' all the way to the end of the book. In this book, he explores character and values as a man, a husband and a father and of course, as an actor.

He enthuse about his childhood and upbringing on Cat Island in the Bahamas. How he could enjoy the simple things in life without the distractions (for example, TV and radio) faced by modern society. He talks about racial prejudice and the odd jobs he had taken in order to survive without compromising his personal values. He conquered illiteracy and launched a career in acting. I have quoted Poitier in one of my "Quote of the Day" postings and I will do so again: "I had always known that the very best way for me to improve self and craft was to continually test my limits." How true and how inspiring.

Despite some ramblings found in the book, I still think that it is a good read. I haven't watched any of his movies, but I hope to do so one of these days. The ones I am particularly interested in are as follows: