Final written exam
“Make me a grave where’re you will, in a lowly plain or a lofty hill; Make it among earth’s humblest graves, but not in a land where men are slaves.” stated by Frances Harper in a poem titled bury me in a free land. In regards to Sidney Poitier’s measures of a man which showed examples of courage, bravery, dignity, integrity, and a foundation of morals and values that dreams can be built upon. These are the everyday set of rules we practice and live our life by in order to accomplish and achieve endeavors even though the odds are against us being predicted to fail. This quote relates to Poitier’s autobiography because he refused to become a statistic or let down his hard working parents that raised a family based on these principles. Bury me in a free land not of slaves, ravage, torture, or difference but in a land of opportunity in which one can pursue greatness yet met excellence. Poitier came from a place just like this and was able to overcome adversity by not accepting to die in a land where the odds were against him. Instead he grabbed his destiny by the horns and predicted his own future.
Gustavas Vasas stated in his slave narrative “The stone that the builders reject becomes the cornerstone” Psalms 118: 22. This statement is quoted throughout the bible in stands firmly in my beliefs for multiple reasons. We have all been rejected but for a specific reason. Just like a blessing that was received through a peculiar situation, in due time the oppressed will receive retribution for their forbearance. We as a community all have been rejected especially our African American ancestors that were here before us yet took pride in culture, spiritually, and practices. Jesus the son of the living God was rejected, ridiculed, and punished for serving as an example and standing firmly in what one believed in. But on the third day our Lord raised him up exulting him to be worshiped for eternity. Throughout Poitiers autobiography he did the same by being rejecting his current situation and pursuing something better even though he did not see the outcome. This is a walk of faith that only some of us are brave enough to experience. “If you stand for nothing you’ll fall for anything.” Instead, he predicted his own future and made a career in acting while still hustling for scraps to support his family. Mentioning that Sidney Poitier came from Cat Island, Bahamas and made an honest living in the acting business; he can easily paired with legendary Ray Charles. During the height of his career Ray Charles refused to perform his music in any theater that supported Jim Crow laws and the segregation of people. Ray understood that his music brought people together instead of separating them. Sidney Poitier did the same thing by not accepting certain roles in movies because the image portrayed did not fit his actually character and the principles he was raised on. Being one of few black actors at the time he had to carefully watch what he thought was ok because everyone was watching him (black race). Both Ray Charles and Sidney Poitier have something in common because they had to make sacrifices and overcome adversity in order to achieve success in their respective businesses.
Poitiers story of coming from rags to riches is both powerful and moving. Reading this story had given me the motivation to overcome situations in my life as well. There is a connection between Sidney and Martin R. Delany when he stated in his article the condition, elevation, emigration, and destiny of the colored people of the United States. He proposed “and if thou boast truth to utter, speak, and leave the rest to God.” Making the connection between Delany and Poitier is one of similar proportion and value. Back in the Bahamas when he was trapped between the levee and that wall of water almost caused him to lose his life. He fought for as long as he could until the powers of the rushing water took him off