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?