This Day in Black History: April 13, 1963

Sidney Poitier becomes first African-American to win an Oscar for best actor.

Posted: 04/13/2013 08:00 AM EDT
Sidney Poitier

(Photo: Archive Photos/Getty Images)

Hollywood could not ignore the talents of African-American actor Sidney Poitier. On April 13, 1963, he became the first Black to win an Oscar for Best Actor. Poitier was given the high honor for his performance in the film Lilies of the Field

In the movie, Poitier played a traveling handyman who lives on the road and comes across a community of nuns who hire him to do small jobs and to build them a chapel.

Poitier led the way for other Black actors to win Oscars for leading roles including Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Jamie Foxx and Forest Whitaker

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