By ARIELLE BRUMFIELD
DETROIT—Tyler Perry credits his “go-getter” spirit to why he is so successful in the entertainment industry.
Moderator and CBS News Anchor Demarco Morgan emphasized the value of Perry speaking during the National Association of Black Journalists panel, “Tyler Perry Master Class: Entrepreneurship and Branding.” Perry focused on monetizing black culture and cultivating ownership.
“Too many of us have operated as workers and not owners,” Morgan said.
Perry did more than speak at the panel. He preached offering life advice and stressing the importance of having faith in your career.
“I came from hope, no one gave me anything. I worked and worked and prayed and worked
some more,” Perry, who is from New Orleans, said passionately as he explained to the audience how he started his career. .
Perry recalled having a difficult time receiving support from whites as he tried to
navigate his career. When he realized larger brands were not supporting him, he invested in himself and created his own platform.
“I branded myself. My brand is Tyler Perry,” Perry said.
Through his brand, Perry provides his audiences with laughter and endless entertainment with
his marquee character, Madea, and self-produced movies, but also highlights issues plaguing
the black community.
Addressing taboo topics such as mental health, domestic violence and even colorism, he
focuses on, “telling the stories of regular folk and giving them a message of hope.”
Perry’s work gives him the ability to help everyone tell their own story. By employing and
highlighting black culture, he has paved the way for more stories that reflect the lives of people of color to reach mainstream platforms.
Perry leaves NABJ conference goers with three valuable takeaways:
First, have an “emotional tolerance that says you can stand and be OK inside of the madness.”
Second, have a “high-risk endurance.”
And lastly, “Have faith.”