Sidney Poitier honoured with Medal of Freedom for bringing tragedy of racism to light

August 14th, 2009 - 1:54 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama London, Aug 14 (ANI): American actor Sidney Poitier was recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by US President Barack Obama for his contribution towards bringing racism to light through the big screen.

Poitier, 82, who was the first black actor to win an Oscar for a leading role, in 1963’s Lilies of the Field, is said to have “left an indelible mark on American culture”.

“In front of black and white audiences struggling to right the nation’s moral compass, Sidney Poitier brought us the common tragedy of racism, the inspiring possibility of reconciliation, and the simple joys of everyday life,” the BBC quoted a statement from the White House as stating.

“Ultimately, the man would mirror the character, and both would advance the nation’s dialogue on race and respect,” it added.

The actor displayed characteristic stoicism as President Obama hung the blue-ribboned medal around his neck, staring straight ahead with just a hint of a smile on his face.

Other recipients of the medal this year, included scientist Stephen Hawking, tennis legend Billie Jean King and South African cleric Archbishop Desmond Tutu. (ANI)

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