Am I Not Sidney Poitier?

In every good novel, there will always be that one blurb or sentence that is going to be remembered. In this case from the novel I Am Not Sidney Poitier by Percival Everett, there is also a line that I find myself being able to connect to it in some way or another. That line was also the last in the novel which was, “…I AM NOT MYSELF TODAY” (234). Having written about the same quote in many of my previous blog posts such as, That Was DeepNot Quite DifferentThe Number 7, it just makes me realize that there must be something about this quote that is so intriguing. 

I find that maybe in some way that I can relate to this quote. This quote is relatable to me in the way of starting college. College is more than just moving up in a year of school, instead, it feels like I was transiting into another world. For example, in my high school English classes when we would have an essay, we would have a structured prompt. I knew exactly what I had to base my essay on and what materials I had to use to support my claims. Now I feel that we have more freedom, instead of having a structured prompt we have more of a guideline. College forces you to branch out a bit and start relying on yourself then the prompt itself. What I mean by that is that as the writer you have to think hard about really what connects and somehow makes sense of it. Just like Not Sidney, it took me a little bit to find my purpose starting with a completely different environment I was unfamiliar with. 

There is going to be the time where you come into realization of what has to be done and really what the purpose is. For me personality, I feel as I came to the point when I had to write my blog posts. When I was starting them, I was still getting the feel for how to do them, so I wasn’t the best, I felt like Not Sidney when he said that he wasn’t himself. I was starting something I was unsure about and it was weird, I had to find my purpose and find a way to work around the whole situation.

When I began the process of writing then it just felt so different as it would be because I am not used to writing in that style. At first, I thought my writing would be different in a way because I didn’t have such a structured guideline but as the process went on, I found myself in my writing. I realized that when it came time to write a post, I would have so many ideas and when I start writing about them, I think of a completely different one that made it even better. 

Not Sidney made a speech about his life and talking about how he got where he was at that moment. He ended with that quote showing that he knows what he has to do to change to become himself. At the beginning of the novel, he knew he was different than everyone else in some way. He was the son of the women everyone thought was going crazy because she has been pregnant for “One hundred and four” (4) weeks. Not Sidney started off being in those situations where he was always different, especially at the beginning of the novel. It wasn’t till the end was near that he started standing up for himself and started to make his own decisions. 

Not all realizations are the same, especially because there are different situations to the realization. Not Sidney came to his realization when he stood in front of the crowd of people having to tell a speech he didn’t prepare. It was like it all rushed to him and when he stood staring at these people who thought he was someone he wasn’t. He knew at the moment he was telling the speech that there was something off, which was him not pursuing his purpose. 

Percival Everett had to have his reason for ending his novel with his main character saying this important line. Not Sidney had all the power in him and right in front of him at that moment to say whatever he wanted. He decided to not only tell the people the truth but to tell them something he needed to hear for himself. Doing as he did, Everett was showing the readers that even if it seemed like Not Sidney was small and powerless, that he had it in him all along it just took a little to bring it out in him. 

Relating the assumption to myself and the blog posts, when I started, I felt small like I didn’t know how to do it and wondering if I was doing it right. It took a little bit, but I found my voice and started to get the hang of the posts themselves. I feel as I was so intrigued by this quote, “…I AM NOT MYSELF TODAY” (234), because I could relate to it in a way I didn’t even know; just like Not Sidney could relate to his own words before even using them. I was moved by Not Sidney’s words even if it took me a little to realize that I am kind of like him in away. 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.