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Diamond In The Rough: Lessons From The Life Of Tyler Perry

FILE – In this Nov. 16, 2017, file photo, actor-filmmaker and author Tyler Perry poses for a portrait in New York to promote his book, “Higher Is Waiting.” Perry is warning fans not to be scammed. The actor, comedian and director in a video says he’s not giving away anything on Facebook. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Invision/AP, File)

Tyler Perry is a diamond in the rough making a great difference in his community. It was a date with history when Tyler Perry officially opened his new studio, the Tyler Perry studio.

A studio he independently worked for hence having sole ownership of the studio without the help of anyone but the support of his compatriots, having worked with Oprah Winfrey to boost the growth of scripted television.

He acknowledges Oprah’s constant support and says, “that’s what Oprah did for me and if I can do that for other people behind me, then I’ve done all I want to do because that is what’s going to change this entire industry.”

Tyler Perry, an African American, born into a dramatic home on September 13 1969 in New Orleans, was originally named Emmit Perry. Tyler Perry did not have a pleasant childhood- growing up in a disturbed home and having a gloomy background where he was constantly beaten by his father.

Being the son of a carpenter and knowing how much his father earned and how much the seller earned, Tyler Perry aimed to be the buyer of a house, not the maker.

His background was a driving force to make him aspire to rise from a place he did not want to be to a place he wants to. Becoming an actor, writer, producer and director, in his journey to success Tyler Perry came across his close friend and fictional character Madea.

Madea who has earned him so much and been a hallmark to the source of his career is a much-loved character.

Madea | Photo: USA Today

Despite the entire take-home in the life of Tyler Perry, suffering as a child in the hands of his father and even molested as a child on various occasions- Tyler Perry channels this negativity and bad experiences to become the ticket to be the best he can be. Working day and night and even sleeping in his car and doing menial jobs in pursuit of his goal.

Consequently, with Madea, he depicts the everyday struggle of the African American, the black culture and belief system mostly wrapped in the family.

Taking control of his narrative and turning it into a bright light with the intention of inspiring from a distance, Madea might seem just like a fictional character, but she was a let out channel to Tyler Perry.


In Madea, he found his emotional oasis which is relevant for all individuals. Dealing with his Oedipus complex, he breaks away from that and symbolically at the age of 16 disentangles himself by legally changing his name from Emmit to Tyler. Madea has been a medium for him to change his life and he acknowledges this when in an interview he said, “Had I focused on the criticism, I wouldn’t own this studio today. I could not have gotten here without Madea.”

The official opening of the studio considering it has been in use was a day that fueled every African American with a sense of pride that says “we are black and proud” with no apologies.

The foundation and the emergence of the African Americans history are solely built on slavery. Africans shipped ashore to another land to work on plantation fields. Who would have thought they would rise one day to buy and own the land where their ancestors worked sweat and blood? Tyler Perry’s action is more than what meets the eye, thus the turn up to celebrate such an outstanding moment with Tyler Perry.

The big names and A-list stars including Oprah Winfrey were present and could not help but beam with pride for his achievement as it also rubs off on them.

Oprah Winfrey as Ms Sophie and Tyler Perry as Madea. |Photo Twitter

As no success comes without having enemies, having bought the former confederate army base in 2015 and replacing it with the Tyler Perry studio is not a thrilling attainment to some, and being the first African American to own one of the largest studios. It is an act of threat to some and an opportunity for many. As Perry hopes, it causes a ripple effect to inspire people like him letting them know they can do it. The opening of the studio will hence provide jobs and careers for the people of Atlanta and people who thought all hope was lost for the black entertainment industry. Therefore addressing the issue of diversity and blaxploitation faced by black entertainers.

The black struggle is not new, the oppression and subjugation are not unheard of, but with every decade comes a giant stride that leaves a great mark on black history.

Madea the great amazon and fictional character says, “it ain’t where you come from, it about where you are going” and this great stride by Tyler Perry leaving his past and not taking no for an answer reflects the wise words of Madea.

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