Academy of Achievement Logo
Home
Achiever Gallery
Keys to Success
 Passion
 Vision
 Preparation
   + [ Courage ]
 Perseverance
 Integrity
 The American Dream
Achievement Podcasts
About the Academy
For Teachers

Search the site

Academy Careers

 
 
Key to success: Vision Key to success: Passion Key to success: Perseverance Key to success: Preparation Key to success: Courage Key to success: Integrity Key to success: The American Dream Keys to success homepage More quotes on Passion More quotes on Vision More quotes on Courage More quotes on Integrity More quotes on Preparation More quotes on Perseverance More quotes on The American Dream


Sidney Poitier

Oscar for Best Actor

The scene required me to stand there, this guy walks over to me, and he slaps me in the face. And I look at him fiercely and walk away. And I said to Walter, I said, "You can't do that." I said, "Let me tell you a little bit about America and the texture of American culture as it stands." I said, "That is dumb. It is not very bright." I said -- we're in the '60s, this is 1968 or 7 -- "You can't do that." I said, "The black community will look at that and say that is egregious. You can't do that, because the human responses that would be natural in that circumstance, we are suppressing them to serve values of greed on the part of Hollywood, acquiescence on the part of people culturally who would accept that as the proper approach." I said, "You can't do it." I said, "You certainly won't do it with me."
View Interview with Sidney Poitier
View Biography of Sidney Poitier
View Profile of Sidney Poitier
View Photo Gallery of Sidney Poitier



Sidney Poitier

Oscar for Best Actor

I talked to him about it. I say, "Therefore, if you want me to do this, not only will I not do it, but I will insist that I respond to this man precisely as a human being would ordinarily respond to this man. And he pops me, and I'll pop him right back." And I said, "If you want me to play it, you will put that in writing. And in writing you will also say that if this picture plays the South, that that scene is never, ever removed." And Walter being the kind of guy that he was, he said, "Yeah," he said, "I promise you that, and I'll give it to you in writing." I ultimately didn't take it in writing. I just took a handshake because he's the kind of guy, his handshake and his signature is one and the same. And that made the movie. Without it, the movie would not have done as well as it did.
View Interview with Sidney Poitier
View Biography of Sidney Poitier
View Profile of Sidney Poitier
View Photo Gallery of Sidney Poitier



Sidney Poitier

Oscar for Best Actor

I walked into the police station to get permission to go across the street and so and so. And he called me the "n" word, the guy in the thing, and he said, "Take off that hat." I was wearing a cap. I looked at this guy sitting up on a kind of thing at the desk. And I said, "What'd you call me?" And mind you, I'm a kid of 15 years old. I just lost it. I just said, "I am Reggie Poitier's " that's my father's name, "That's my dad, and his name is Reginald and my mother's name is so and so. And they named me Sidney, that's my name." Well, the cops, there were several in the place, and they looked at me as if I was insane. Oh God! Now, had I been born and raised in Florida, I would have a different approach, exactly. I would have been cultivated to respond in a different way, especially if I had spent those first 15 years of my life in Florida.
View Interview with Sidney Poitier
View Biography of Sidney Poitier
View Profile of Sidney Poitier
View Photo Gallery of Sidney Poitier



Sidney Poitier

Oscar for Best Actor

I asked a chap at the doorway of the bus station. I said, "How do I get to Harlem?" I had a very little, small bag with a couple of -- three pairs of pants, some shirts, and that's about the size of it. Maybe one jacket, but not for winter. We'll get to that. So he said, "Well, you go right down those steps, and you just go to 116th Street." And I said, "Okay." So I go down the steps, and I said, "What I do?" when I got down there. And I watched people. They would come and they would put something in the little thing for the turnstile. And the guy upstairs had said to me, "Then you'll take the train." And I said to myself, "Wait a minute. Train? Under the ground? That doesn't make any sense." And it certainly didn't make any sense to me. A train under the ground? But anyway, I went through the ritual and I hear this rumbling, and it scared me. And along comes this train. And I saw people putting a nickel -- and in those days it was a nickel or something -- in and they'd go through the turnstile. Well, I was always courageous in a way, some ways. And I go through the turnstile and I got, as he told me -- 116th Street. So I got on the train. And every time it stopped, I was amazed. How could it be running under the ground? Makes no sense to me. But I'm alert, and I'm sitting there. And I see the station comes up, 116th Street. And I jumped off, and I walked and followed people going up the steps. And I walked out at 116th Street and 8th Avenue, and I was in Harlem.
View Interview with Sidney Poitier
View Biography of Sidney Poitier
View Profile of Sidney Poitier
View Photo Gallery of Sidney Poitier



Colin Powell

Former Secretary of State, United States of America

Colin Powell: The helicopter shifted to the right and then it shifted to the left, and to this day, sitting in the left-hand seat in the rear I could see the blade hit the tree, and suddenly go from moving very rapidly -- which is what keeps you in the air -- to stopping instantly, which converts you from a helicopter into a falling object, more like a rock. And so, we fell about a hundred feet or so and hit hard. Stumps all over the place, and the helicopter started breaking apart, engine coming down through the passenger compartment, engine still turning, broken blades spinning, cockpit area crashed, or smashed up, and the danger of a fire.
View Interview with Colin Powell
View Biography of Colin Powell
View Profile of Colin Powell
View Photo Gallery of Colin Powell



Colin Powell

Former Secretary of State, United States of America

Colin Powell: I knew I was hurt, but not too badly, so I unbuckled, ran out, looked back and saw that the general was still inside. Went in and helped him out, helped some others out. And then it started to smoke, but it wasn't burning. And then I and another young soldier went back and I thought the pilot was seriously injured, his back was. The general's aide was in the middle of the passenger compartment and the whole engine had come down through the passenger compartment and smashed his head into the radio console and I thought he was dead, because he had an engine on his head. But when I went back in to start pulling the body out, it was clear that his -- I heard a noise, a slight movement, so he was alive.
View Interview with Colin Powell
View Biography of Colin Powell
View Profile of Colin Powell
View Photo Gallery of Colin Powell



Colin Powell

Former Secretary of State, United States of America

Discipline isn't what causes men to go into the face of enemy fire, it's counting on one another, and serving one another, and loving one another as family members. We saw that again in Desert Storm. It was a real hit for the nation to see these young folks out in the desert. They're not supposed to be like this, they're supposed to be druggies, they're supposed to be troublesome, they're supposed to be violence-prone, they're supposed to be uneducable. And here they were in the desert, smart as tacks, patriotic, clean, drug-free, working together in teams, as family members.
View Interview with Colin Powell
View Biography of Colin Powell
View Profile of Colin Powell
View Photo Gallery of Colin Powell



Harold Prince

Broadway Producer and Director

There is one definitive moment in the road. It is the moment when you as a producer, or even a director, decide that you are giving the audience what it wants rather than taking the audience on a journey you wanted to take. West Side Story is a perfect example of taking the audience somewhere. When it first opened, 100 people walked out on that show every night for a year. Lots of people didn't get it. It didn't win the Tony Awards or any of that stuff, but here it is, and it did pay off, and it made a film that they benefited from. The point is, I still believe you have to take your audience somewhere, and don't underestimate how damn smart they are and how willing to be stimulated. But the situation was parlous at the moment.
View Interview with Harold Prince
View Biography of Harold Prince
View Profile of Harold Prince
View Photo Gallery of Harold Prince



Harold Prince

Broadway Producer and Director

Monday morning, I heard a shout from his office, and he said, "Will you come in here? I just got this script from California. Damn, I have to write a whole half-hour television show," and I said, "I wrote one over the weekend, in case you'd like to see it," and he said, "Give it to me," and I gave it to him and he said, "It's fine. Let's do it just your way, and why don't you direct it?" I said, "What are you saying?" He said, "You can direct. I've been watching you. Go direct it." So I said, "Are you going to the actors No one is going to listen to a 20-year-old!" and he said -- I was probably 21 by then -- he said, "No, go ahead. Direct it. I'll come on Thursday and make some comments." So the actors did look at me strangely. It bore his name, the script. So we didn't have to go over that, and I directed the show. He came in and made a nip or a tuck there or something, not much, and the show went on the air. But I was a very abrasive kid. The energy level was just too high. I was trying hard to be tactful, but I had a lot of ambition.
View Interview with Harold Prince
View Biography of Harold Prince
View Profile of Harold Prince
View Photo Gallery of Harold Prince



Browse Courage quotes by achiever last name

Previous Page

          

Next Page