Monday, September 26, 2011

The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier

After reading Life Beyond Measure, I knew it was only a matter of time before I read The Measure of a Man.  I had high expectations for this book and I wasn’t disappointed. There was almost no overlap between the two books and in the sections that were repeated, Poitier discusses them in much more depth in The Measure of a Man adding details that were not included in Life Beyond Measure.

From the very first paragraph, this book had me smiling. Poitier opens by discussing the lack of entertaining selections playing on the television – or the idiot box as I sometimes call it. From there, we are taken back to his childhood. Television was not an option but even with no electricity and no telephones, entertainment was never lacking.

Poitier moved to America as a teenager but was unable to deal with life in the south because of what was instilled in him while growing up on Cat Island. He was taught that other people do not determine your worth. He discusses many unfortunate incidences including almost being killed because of racism while living in Miami. After a short stay there, he heads to New York. But what would become apparent is that simply leaving Miami wouldn't be the end of his encounters with racism - even when in other parts of  the world.

By Chapter 4, we’ve seen Poitier display perseverance, entrepreneurship, and integrity. As the book continues, he gives much credit to his parents and reveals his father’s teachings about the true measure of a man. He unveils turning points in his life and discusses pivotal life changing decisions that helped him build character. By the end of the book, we understand the making of the man that is Sidney Poitier. 

What did your parents teach you that helped to define who you are? 

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kimvan said...

very nice teaser of a review here now I am ready to get this book and delve into it. One of the things my parents taught me is the importance of being honest when dealing with others.

Shannon @ Reading Has Purpose said...

Thanks!I really did want to include more information but I read the book right before my summer break so a lot of it I just plain forgot!

bermudaonion said...

I really admire Poitier so I'd love to read this book. My parents taught me that no one is better than I am and that I'm not better than anyone else and it has served me well.

Sharon Henning said...

I'm going to have to read this book. My son and I have watched just about every movie Poitier was in. He played such powerful roles and with such dignity. After watching 'Lillies of the Field' I went and got the book. It was great.
Thanks for visiting my site. You've a lovely one as well.

Shannon @ Reading Has Purpose said...

@ bermudaonion - he is indeed admirable. I'm just now really learning about him.

@Sharon Henning - He speaks a lot about selecting roles. He also mentions a few that he turned down.

Nana Fredua-Agyeman said...

" I had high expectations for this book and I wasn’t disappointed." I love it when books don't disappoint. Have heard a lot about Pointier but I'm yet to read him.

Shannon @ Reading Has Purpose said...

@ Nana - Having heard so much about his is actually why I read the book. I've actually never watched any of his movies.