Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?



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 movie I had viewed of its kind especially during the wake of Civil Rights and on the heels 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 diversity and 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 is found in societal resistance to acceptance of differences and the uneasiness of mingling or interacting with others simply because one may have a different hue.

I imagine it took courage and determination by the writer, William Rose, to speak truth and 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 the 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. He or she 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?

16 thoughts on “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

  1. This is such a great flick, not only as a movie, but also (and more importantly) as a message and a challenge that is timeless. My one concern in the tenor of this essay, however, is that of unqualified tolerance bereft of social responsibility. Obviously, how that social responsibility is defined (or should I say, by whom) is the challenge. Hitler didn’t do a very good job. There is, thankfully, an Authority that has articulated a much better plan on a much higher plane.


    1. Thanks for your response. If you do not mind, can you be clear as to what you mean by the tenor of this essay is unqualified tolerance of social responsibility? In other words, can you explain or convey the essence of what you’re saying?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely! And I do so apologize if I gave offense, or misread anything or perhaps without enough attentiveness. For me, any time the word “tolerance” is used, my (limited) experience automatically puts up a yellow flag of caution, as in “tolerance of what”? Old Testament Jews became quite tolerant of other cultures that sacrificed children to a god Molech, for example. Some would consider our modern day equivalent of child pornography to be protected under the guise of “freedom of speech.” So I am concerned (perhaps overly at times) about using the word without limits, because there must be or else the word no longer has any meaning.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for taking time to explain or share your insight. I’m not sure where the word tolerance was used, but if it was used or implied, it was not the main essence of what my writing is saying. However, it was more about whether we accept or condone others differences, we can view the humanity aspect of individuals. For example, we might not agree to the practices or cultures of others, but the failure to do so does not make another less human as another. God is a God of freewill. We much each stand on our faith and conviction as we believe and in doing so, we are not to mistreat others simply because they do not share the same values. But, my writing, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” was not in-depth to say one way or another what that implied. It was left up to each individual reader and for the purpose of promoting unity among people regardless of differences. Now, simply asking for unification does not scratch the surface of what these differences are other than mentioning difference of skin color. It’s interesting the use of or inference to tolerance “automatically puts up a yellow flag of caution” because tolerance does not always have a negative connotation when I hear that word. Anytime one goes against God’s word one is prone to error. But, with my understanding of His word, we must rightfully divide it and apply it to its appropriateness. The differences in views attest to how we are unique and each individual share a different perspective, and this also attest to how when things are different we sometimes have a tendency to resist or shield ourselves from them because of a lack of understanding. This is the very thing I hope others get from my post, in other words, my desire is others draw something positive out of what is written rather than see a yellow flag. Again, thanks for shedding a little more clarity on your perception.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this movie, even more so because Sir Sidney Poitier is one of the few Bahamian actors who has not only transcend racial barriers in Hollywood, but I think the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “…whether we accept or condone others differences, we can view the humanity aspect of individuals.” Such a great quote, and all the more I would follow your site for this! (I mean, I’m already following your site, but , well, you know….) Thank you for your comments!

    Liked by 1 person

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