Houston actor credits Sidney Poitier for inspiring his career

HOUSTON – Local actor and native of Houston, Stephon Davis, remembers the day his life and career changed forever.

“We were at the restaurant and the lady, a friend… said ‘Hey, do you want to meet Sidney Poitier?’, And I said ‘What !?’ She said, ‘[Do] do you want to go talk to him? I said ‘YEAH!’ Davis said. “He looked me in the eye and said, ‘Young man, I’m passing the torch to you. You run with it, ”and he punched me in the chest.

Davis says he just lost his father after a long battle with cancer, Poitier’s warm embrace made him cry.

“I just gushed,” he said. “I almost fell into his arms. It was a sign from God that you are supposed to be here.

He says the admiration for the first black man to win an Oscar is well justified, as he has accomplished so much more than that in his 94 years of life.

Whether it’s fighting racial injustice through acting, portraying race relations onscreen before they become mainstream, fighting offscreen as a civil rights activist. and to be honored with the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

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“When I found out that he had passed I sprang up again… he was kind of like a superhero to me,” Davis added.

Davis credits Poitier for laying the groundwork for other black people to have successful media careers today.

“Now you see us, not only are we in front of the camera, we’re behind the camera, we’re now showrunners. We create, ”he said.

To see some of Davis’ latest Portier-inspired designs that address social justice issues, click here.

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