In the late 60’s, African American actor, Sidney Poitier starred in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” The show aired around 1967, as time passed, it was the first many and I had viewed of its kind especially during the wake of Civil Rights and on the heels of the racial tone of racism. Yet, a vibrant, charming, and beautiful Caucasian, “Joey”, falls in love with a handsome, articulate, and intelligent African American and decides to bring her guest “Dr. Prentice” (Sidney Poitier) for dinner to meet her parents.
The movie has since become a classic and has transcended generations. Its cutting edge storyline addresses the issues of racism and the skepticism prevalent by some because of differences in ethnicity. Viewers were intrigued by the genuine love and chemistry between the two while they also shared mixed feelings and emotions because of the differences in ethnicity. In other words, love is love, but when love is between two who share different hues some struggle with acceptance of love. Why is this?
The answer might be found in the societal resistance to acceptance of differences and the unease society share about mingling or interacting with others simply because one may share a different hue. I could imagine it took courage, but it also took determination by the writer, William Rose, to speak to truth and to address what others feared. More than likely, Rose knew his movie was controversial and others during the social climate might not receive his message, but he dared to do the right thing when it was not popular. He lent his talent and voice.
A sad commentary is a hue or a difference in one’s skin can make the difference in social acceptance, the way one judges another’s character, or the way one view another value. To make it a little clearer, in society today, one might not be viewed with the same sense of humanity just because one’s skin tone is a different shade or one is born outside of another’s race. One can actually lay aside his or her moral convictions or sense of doing the right thing just because another does not look like him or her.
We are better than this, we can do better than this. We can rise above the shallow, narrow-minded characterizations of others and think on a higher order or a higher level of thinking. We are more resilient, more compassionate, and we are more caring as a society than to allow others differences to blind us from seeing humanity first. Even if we must adjust our views, adjust our perspectives, or even better than that, change our hearts if necessary to see the humane aspect of individuals.
This is a new day, the world is perpetually changing. Whatever the differences are move beyond them or put them in perspective. Society is not and will never be the same as you have known before. It is time to adapt and change. The tables have turned. The table is set. Other guests are waiting. They do not all look like you. Guess whose coming to dinner?
Response to the Daily Prompt Challenge – Today’s word (Guest)
Disclaimer: While the context on this post uses “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’ storyline as a backdrop and shares incidents occurring in the movie regarding an interracial couple, the inference is unity.