The significance of Sidney Poitier’s Caribbean origins  … Revisiting the Lani Guinier controversy  … How Guinier’s views eventually triumphed … Where are the “heterodox” black women?  … Glenn: I’m worried about the stability of our electoral process … Are we on the precipice of violent political conflict? … An update on John’s prodigious output …

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  1. Taras Coolidge

    I think John is barking up the wrong tree, as far as Sidney Poitier is concerned.

    White audiences couldn’t plumb the subtle differences, obvious to John, between American and Caribbean blacks.

    Except in To Sir With Love, of course, where Poitier’s character was explicitly a Caribbean black, teaching white trash kids in a London slum high school.  In a memorable scene that probably reflected Poitier’s real life, his character gives the kids a sample of how he used to talk before he learned proper English.

    Perhaps “Mr. Tibbs” doesn’t sound exactly right for Philadelphia to John’s trained ear, but it definitely passed as American to the vast majority of viewers.

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