Friday on my Mind 212: To Sir With Love. RIP Sidney Poitier

Actor Sidney Poitier died late last week.

He was certainly a good actor but will be forever remembered as the first black man to win an Oscar for Best Male Actor for his performance in Lilies of the Field. While he was later criticised for essentially presenting an ‘acceptable’ black demeanour to the wider public he was nevertheless a trail blazer for later black actors. (Their success would no doubt have come eventually but his probably made it easier for them to break through.)

His most productive year was probably 1967 when he starred in three high profile films In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and To Sir With Love.

The theme song from the last of those – sung by Lulu who also had a role in the film – made it to no 1 in the US but was only released as a B-side in the UK. I have always quite liked it however and I’ll never have a better excuse to feature it here.

Lulu: To Sir With Love

Sidney Poitier: 20/2/1927 – 6/1/2022. So it goes.

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