LOS ANGELES (KTLA) – We’re celebrating Black History Month by highlighting Southern California’s African-American Pioneers.
Sidney Poitier was the first black actor to win an Academy Award for a leading role.
In 1967 this L.A. Dreamer led all actors, black or white, in box office earnings with three hit movies.
This trailblazer eradicated stereotypes, portraying prestigious characters that were not offered to black actors at the time.
He turned down rolls that robbed African-Americans of their dignity.
In 2009, the Miami born Poitier was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor.
This L.A. Dreamer set the stage for generations of black actors to be Hollywood headliners and big box office draws.
To find out more about Sidney Poitier and other L.A. Dreamers, the Los Angeles Urban League has a special free exhibit called “The 90 That Built L.A.”
For more information, go to http://www.laul.org.