Sidney Poitier: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)

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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner is a 1967 American drama film starring Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier and Katharine Hepburn. The film featured the controversial subject of interracial marriage, which was still illegal in 17 US states. In the clip, Poitier argues with his father.

You can find this monologue and hundreds of others on Colin’s Movie Monologue page.

John Prentice (Sidney Poitier): You listen to me. You say you don’t want to tell me how to live my life. So what do you think you’ve been doing? You tell me what rights I’ve got or haven’t got, and what I owe to you for what you’ve done for me. Let me tell you something. I owe you nothing! If you carried that bag a million miles, you did what you’re supposed to do!

Because you brought me into this world. And from that day you owed me everything you could ever do for me like I will owe my son if I ever have another. But you don’t own me! You can’t tell me when or where I’m out of line, or try to get me to live my life according to your rules.

You don’t even know what I am, Dad, you don’t know who I am. You don’t know how I feel, what I think. And if I tried to explain it the rest of your life you will never understand. You are 30 years older than I am. You and your whole lousy generation believes the way it was for you is the way it’s got to be. And not until your whole generation has lain down and died will the dead weight be off our backs! You understand, you’ve got to get off my back!

Dad… Dad, you’re my father. I’m your son. I love you. I always have and I always will. But you think of yourself as a colored man. I think of myself as a man.