Tiffany of Washington D.C., says Sidney Poitier is the father figure she never had.
Raised by a single working mother, Tiffany says one of the most meaningful experiences of her childhood was watching To Sir, with Love. "My mother explained to me how important Mr. Poitier was in that he transcended stereotypical black Hollywood roles (whereby the implication alone required a certain level of strength and determination that he had in turning down roles that didn't meet the highest level of standard)," Tiffany writes. "My mother also made Mr. Poitier my childhood example when it came to the importance of being articulate and well presented—even in the face of being accused of 'trying to be white' or 'talking white.' Undoubtedly, Mr. Poitier is one of the most sophisticated people around, and it's not even in a pretentious sense but in a confident and competent one."