7 African American Firsts: Black Men and Women who Broke Barriers
Sir Sidney Poitier
Black actors had come before him, but no one carried the poise and fierce intensity of Sir Sidney Poitier. His first film was the iconic 1955 Blackboard Jungle. He went on to be the first African American winner of the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1963 for his role as Homer Smith in Lilies of the Field.