Poitier's dramatic, trailblazing career

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Description: HR professionals feeling daunted by work challenges may find inspiration from Sunday's SHRM conference general session speaker, Sidney Poitier. The son of poor tomato farmers in the Bahamas, Poitier moved to New York as a teenager with $3 in his pocket, according to a biography by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which gave Poitier a lifetime achievement honor in 1995. His first film, No Way Out in 1950, launched a screen career in which Poitier regularly challenged racial barriers. Poitier also embarked on a career as a director. In 1980, he directed Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor in Stir Crazy -- that year's biggest financial success in film.
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