My mom read this book, The Measure of a Man by Sidney Pitier, and said it was pretty good. She gave it to me and it promptly sat on my shelf for quite sometime. The other day I found out that the library has it on CD so I checked it out to listen to in my car on my way to work. It was actually a pretty good book. I love movies, and really like old ones too, so it was interesting hearing about how the movie industry worked during the latter part of the golden age and about acting generally.
Beyond that though Poitier wrote about life and looking at what he has accomplished from the lens of his childhood. Growing up on Cat Island in the Bahamas with no running water or electricity in the house, he learned to appreciate the simpler things in life. In addition, he found ways to challenge himself growing up there and that appreciation for life and love of challenge has stayed with him throughout his life.
There were two things I really liked about this “read.” First, was that Poitier read the book himself on the CD. I love it when the author’s read their own work! It gives the story so much more depth. Second, it gave me some insight into some old movies I have never watched.
Poitier was in great movies like Blackboard Jungle, To Sir With Love, A Patch of Blue, Lilies of the Field, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (I have seen this one – fantastic!) and In the Heat of the Night. I just rented and watched Lilies of the Field. This was a really good movie. I had no idea what to expect: five nuns and an itinerant handy man – where is this going to go? It was so funny and simple though and still carried good meaning as well, relevant even in this day and age. I have the other movies on hold at the library and cannot wait to watch the rest.
Overall, I would recommend reading this book and even watching a couple of these old movies!