Blackity Black History Month: ATL Icon Tyler Perry

Blackity Black History Month: Atlanta Icon Tyler Perry —

The key to life when it gets tough is to keep moving. Just keep moving.

— Tyler Perry

Tyler Perry is a film mogul, billionaire and creator of the Madea character. Many folks can't decide whether to love or hate Perry, but his success as a storyteller, playwright and filmmaker can't be denied.

Perry created and performs the Madea character, a thick-skinned older Black wwoman who he has said was inspired by multiple women in his life. Perry wrote and produced many stage plays during the 1990s and early 2000s — many featuring Madea. Perry went on to develop a number of films and television series, most notably Tyler Perry's House of Payne and The Haves and the Have Nots. They were mostly wildly successful, if critically controversial.

!n 2015, Perry acquired former military base Fort McPherson in Atlanta, which he converted to Tyler Perry Studios. It hosts 12 sound stages named after highly accomplished African-Americans in the entertainment industry. The blockbuster Marvel film, Black Panther, was the first to be filmed on one of the new stages at Tyler Perry Studios, and it is one of the largest film studios in the nation. It also established Tyler Perry as the first African-American to outright own a major film studio.


Each day this month, we'll be sharing wise words from Black Atlanta icons — some who are household names and some who you may not know. Atlanta history IS Black history, and this is our way of sharing it.