To Sidney, with Love
Posted by Jennifer
As a young African-American girl at the tender age of 13, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Poitier. This was in 1987 that I met him. He was at a dinner in Hollywood for black actors who were being honored by their peers for their contribution to Hollywood. …
I did not know that Mr. Poitier was going to be there and my heart literally dropped to the floor when I saw him. I loved his movies and my favorite movie has always been A Patch of Blue.
He randomly walked up to me at the dinner and asked me how old I was and if I was in school. When I told him I was in the ninth grade, he told me to finish high school and to go on to college and major in English. He told me to master the English language, for he only had a fourth-grade education and he learned his mastery of the language from overhearing others talk in his various jobs. He shared with me that every day is a learning opportunity.
He inspired me so much that I ended up graduating at the top of my high school class. I was able to get into the college of my dreams, double majored in English and philosophy, and I ended up getting departmental honors in English.
I did my family and myself proud by graduating magna cum laude, because I worked extremely hard while in college. I spent most of my time in the library learning as much as I could and to be empowered by my professors, their lessons in class and life lessons from my classmates.
After college, I went to law school and now I am working hard to giving back to my community financially, physically and emotionally.
Every day I read the paper (as Mr. Poitier recommended to me), and I read on any and everything that comes my way. I thank God for the blessings that come my way, and I try to serve as a positive role model to any young person that I meet.
I've always attempted to live my life in respecting myself and others, and I have always made God the center of my universe, as Mr. Poitier told me to do. Thank you, Mr. Poitier, for your endless inspiration throughout my life.