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Bahamian students offered chance to meet Sir Sidney Poitier
By Hon. Fred Mitchell, Minister Foreign Affairs
Feb 12, 2016 - 2:31:28 AM

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Nassau, Bahamas - The following is a Communication in Parliament by the Hon. Fred Mitchell:

The Cabinet Office is pleased to announce that in honour of the March To Majority Rule, the films of Sir Sidney Poitier, the award winning Bahamian actor, will be shown on ZNS TV as follows:

a)      No Way Out – Sunday, February 14th @ 9:00pm 
b)        A Raisin In The Sun – Monday, February 15th @ 9:00pm
c )       Lilies Of The Field – Tuesday, February 16th @ 9:00pm
d)       In The Heat Of The Night – Wednesday, February 17th @ 9:00pm
e)      Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner – Thursday, February 18th @ 9:00pm
f)       To Sir With Love – Friday, February 19th @ 9:00pm
g)       Buck And The Preacher – Saturday, February 20th @ 9:00pm              

The films were chosen as a cross section of his works.  The first film " NO Way Out" was the catalyst in 1950 for the formation of the Citizens Committee which came together to overturn the ban on the film being shown in The Bahamas because of its race theme.

Lilies Of The Field
is the picture for which Sir Sidney became the first African American and first and only Bahamian to win an Academy Award.

In the Heat of The Night
was groundbreaking for the slap that was heard around the world.

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner
was groundbreaking in America because of the theme of interracial marriage

To Sir With Love
set in the United Kingdom shows how a teacher was dedicated to his students and overcame race stereotyping.

Buck and The Preacher
which had its premiere to raise funds for the Jordan Prince Williams School was produced and directed by Sir Sidney and also starred Sir Sidney and Harry Bellefonte.  It is how Blacks made common cause with Indians against the dominant culture.  It was a groundbreaking film.

Sir Sidney helped with the fight for majority rule, mobilizing resources in the United Sates and sending money and supporting personnel.

He celebrates his 89th birthday on 20th February, born in Miami prematurely to Bahamian farmers.

An essay competition is being organized in the schools, details of which are that students are encouraged in the senior high schools to write a one page essay about the films they saw, what impressed them and say something about Sir Sidney's life.  

The Ministry of Education will reveal the full details.  But we are asking all Senior High School students to have a look at the movies over the next week and write an essay about Sir Sidney and what impressed the student about his works and life.

A deadline will be announced for submission of the essay by the Ministry of Education.

The prizes are $500 first prize, $300 dollar second prize, $200 dollar third prize, with two $100 dollar consolation prizes. LEARN HOW TO ENTER HERE

If Sir Sidney approved and his schedule permits, the winner and chaperon will get to travel to Los Angeles to meet Sir Sidney. The Bahamas government is proud to support this presentation.

Mr. Speaker, I comment this to the House and ask Honourable members to spread the word to their constituents.

Each month, it is the plan to mark the programme March To Majority Rule with special emphasis on those who fought to bring it about.

Next month is the birth month of The Hon A. D. Hanna, Sir Lynden Pindling and Sir Cecil Wallace Whitfield and we hoping to mark the occasion of the birthdays with special lectures on their lives.

I want to thank Fred Ferguson for the work which he did to honour the late Freddie Munnings and his music about the city of Nassau on 9th January.

We plan to honour many others but the final concert we hope will be a tribute to Ronnie Butler in January 2017 marking 50 years of Majority Rule, honouring the song Going Down Burma Road.

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