Houston actor credits Sidney Poitier with inspiring his career

HOUSTON – Houston native and local actor Stephon Davis thinks back to the day his life and career both changed forever.

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

Davis says having just lost his father after a years-long battle with cancer, Poitier’s warm embrace brought him to tears.

”I just welled up,” he said. “I almost fell in his arms. That was a sign from God that you’re supposed to be here.”

He says the admiration for the first Black male Oscar winner is well warranted, as he accomplished much more than that in his 94 years of life.

From tackling racial injustice through acting, representing interracial relationships on screen before it became common, to off-screen battles as a civil rights activist, and being honored with the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

”When I got the news that he had passed, I welled up again… he was kind of like a superhero to me,” Davis added.

Davis credits Poitier with laying the foundation for other Black people to have successful careers in media today.

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

To see some of Davis’ latest creation inspired by Portier which happens to deal with social justice issues, click here.

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