Tyler Perry's Ultimate Icon Award could not have been received without the pave-making creator offering a motivational word for everyone listening.
Taraji P. Henson presented her friend and artistic partner with the BET honor. Tyler didn't hold back when he spoke on the truth behind struggles he endured through his career and professional accolades he's reached by determination. Every aspect of the self-made director's moment was dominating. However, the revelation of Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta being on the land of a former Confederate Army base is what had the crowd roaring.
“And, I want you to hear this, 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.”
He continued to express the importance of creating opportunities for yourself, rather than waiting for them to show up at your door. A specific example he used was the incident where the Oscars were under scrutiny for being racial biased.
“While everybody was fighting for a seat at the table talking about #OscarsSoWhite, #OscarsSoWhite, I said, ‘Y’all go ahead and do that. But while you’re fighting for a seat at the table, I’ll be down in Atlanta building my own. Because what I know for sure is that if I could just build this table, God will prepare it for me in the presence of my enemies.”
“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.”
A final touching moment was his recognition of women. Tyler has always been open about the nurturing relationship she shares with the women in his family. My mother, especially, played a big role personally and creatively in much of his success. Her major influence is what drives the For Colored Girls director to share a message with women, "to know you’re worthy, you’re special, you’re powerful, you’re amazing.
Enjoy his full speech above. Congratulations, Tyler!