In one of the most impactful speeches at Sunday night’s BET Awards, Tyler Perry brought his A-game to the podium as he spoke about creating opportunities and taking control of his own destiny.
The writer, producer, actor and director was honoured with BET’s Ultimate Icon Award at the event which held at Microsoft Theaters in Los Angeles. In his powerful speech, Tyler Perry recalled growing up with a father who beat his mother and in an effort to make her laugh, five-year-old Tyler started imitating the women she played cards with every Friday.
In fact, he said that the first 10 movies he made were subconsciously all about his mother because he wanted her to know she’s worthy and also to let black women know they are worthy, special, powerful and amazing.
He further disclosed the inspiration behind building his studio in one of the poorest black neighbourhoods in Atlanta. In his words;
When I built my studio, I built it in a neighbourhood that is one of the poorest black neighborhoods in Atlanta so that young black kids could see that a black man did that and they can do it too.
I was trying to help somebody cross. The studio was once a Confederate Army base, which meant that there was Confederate soldiers on that base, plotting and planning on how to keep 3.9 million Negroes enslaved. Now that land is owned by one Negro.
Referring to the name of the award he was receiving, Ultimate Icon Award, Perry said;
Rather than being an icon, I want to be an inspiration. I want you to hear this, every dreamer in this room.
There are people whose lives are tied to your dream. Own your stuff, own your business, own your way.
You can watch Tyler Perry’s speech below;