Movie and media mogul, Tyler Perry is the latest cover star of Ebony Magazine.
Making this his third time, the award-winning businessman opens up in the March 2020 issue about his recently built Tyler Perry film studios, being wealthy and his definition of power.
On why he controls the rights to his work:
“I had to own the intellectual property because that is where the value is. That is the thing that changes wealth for generations to come. That will change my son’s future. I wish more of us, as African-Americans, knew that the value is in ownership, which is the only thing that is going to keep this momentum going. We’re in this great moment in Hollywood where Black is in.”
“Build your own table, and stop asking for a seat at someone else’s table. That’s why I came to Atlanta. I know the value in what I do, and I know how important our stories are to us. We have to stop trying to run and cross over and get attention from somebody else,” he emphasizes. “These are people who don’t even care . . . I found value in my own face, in my own people, in my own color. Until we realize as Black people that there is tremendous value in our own community, we will always be asking somebody to validate us. Why ask someone to validate me outside of the world I live in that is so special and built this entire place, ticket by ticket, grandmothers coming with their grandkids, laughing, to see Madea?”
On being famous and the problems that come with it:
“I believe it is all relevant. I have the same amount of issues I had when I was broke, it’s just different issues,” he explains. “People look at the now but don’t look at the then. I still felt like I was the same person then as I do now. I still felt rich even though I couldn’t pay bills. I still felt wealthy within my soul and myself as a person.”
On wealth and power:
“I know a lot of people who have power but aren’t necessarily rich. A definition for me is when you have a tool that you can use for good to uplift, encourage and open doors for people. That’s what I think the definition of power, in this setting, should be,” he says. “I can’t speak to power without talking about faith in God. Power for me, from birth growing up, was going to church and understanding the power of God and working hard to align with that. You might have talent, but if everything is not lined up, it might not happen. I had the time and the talent, but it took God for everything to line up. That’s the ultimate power for me.”
Read the full interview here.
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