Sidney Poitier died at his home in Los Angeles, California, on January 6, 2022, at the age of 94. The Bahamian-American actor, film director, and ambassador was the first Black person and first Bahamian to win the Academy Award for Best Actor for Lilies of the Field. He was granted a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in 1974. In 1995, he received the Kennedy Center Honor. In 2009 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the ceremony shown above). In 2002, he was given an Honorary Academy Award in recognition of his "remarkable accomplishments as an artist and as a human being"

And so we pray this news . . .

Thank you for not only embodying so many indelible characters and so many inspiring firsts but for also illustrating the graceful determination of one who does not aim to be exceptional but exemplary, who does not aim to simply uplift himself but to uplift the gifts of all, whose offerings are not simply preserved on a screen but coursing through the ongoing justice-seeking spirit of a people, and as we mourn your passing and celebrate your life, may we all strive to stay steadily true to our callings, not content to simply make moves for our own sedentary sake but resolved to add our own aching energy to the continuing collective movements that always need our active engagement.

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