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Morgan Freeman Says He Walked Down the Trail Sidney Poitier Blazed (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Jun 20th 2011 5:21AM
Sidney Poitier, 'The AFI Life Achievement Honoring Morgan Freeman'Considering the event was called 'The AFI Life Achievement Award Honoring Morgan Freeman' (Sun., 9PM ET on TV Land), no one would have faulted the guest of honor for clapping himself on the back a little bit. After all, it was his night and he'd certainly earned an award honoring his life and career. But Morgan Freeman didn't do that.

Instead, he shared the spotlight with a man he considers a trailblazer in his own right. "Seems like the world's upside down when you're here in the audience watching me and I'm up here on stage getting an award," Freeman said to Sidney Poitier, who was looking on proudly.

"In my life, I've shamelessly tried to pattern it after yours," Freeman said. "To walk down the trail you blazed my friend. That you are here means that you are proud of me. And I'm proud of that."

Poitier was touched by the recognition and mention on Freeman's special night. But as Freeman openly admitted, where would so many actors and actresses of differing races be today were it not for the groundbreaking and staggering achievements of Poitier's career? He elevated the field for all performers, and he proved that talent supercedes superficial things like skin color.

In many ways, Freeman has succeeded in patterning for himself a career and life as powerful and impressive as Mr. Poitier's. It is right to honor Freeman for what he has accomplished, just as it was right for Freeman to honor Poitier for doing it first.

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