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A Life-Changing Compliment
Posted by Darlene 

When I was 19 years old, my girlfriend and I were walking down Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We were on our way home and in the midst of our conversing, there he was, Mr. Sidney Poitier, walking down the street toward us. My girlfriend and I spoke to him politely like we had just seen him yesterday and kept walking.

We got halfway down the street, stopped and screamed at each other that we had just spoken to Sidney Poitier! We ran back to catch up with him to properly greet him. He spoke to us kindly and then he said six words to me that changed my life. He said, "You are a beautiful black woman!" He did not say that to my friend, he looked deep into my eyes.

I will never forget those wonderful, wonderful words! I am a dark-skinned woman and in the past had issues with my beauty. I had always wished I were lighter-skinned, thinking I would be accepted better by my peers. I was teased about being so dark. But when I heard Mr. Poitier say those words to me, I was forever changed. I dressed differently and I told myself that I was beautiful every day. That was a summer day that I will never forget as long as I live!


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