Arguably one of the most popular sessions of the 2018 National Association of Black Journalists Convention and Career Fair, Tyler Perry’s master class on entrepreneurship and branding had many walking away with newfound confidence.
Digital Journalist and former TV One commentator, Roland Martin opened the course with a story of how he helped book Perry for the conference.
“I don’t want you to talk about Madea,” Martin told Perry. “I want you to teach.” Martin said the purpose of the course was to help more Black people follow the path to entrepreneurship. “Too many of us operate as workers,” he said. “African Americans are the tastemakers and trendsetters.”
After an introduction from Actress, Ptosha Storey, Perry started his session with a video thanking his fans for 25 years of success and loyalty. He then informed the audience that he had just returned from a spiritual vacation so his delivery would sound much like a sermon.
Perry delivered a compelling speech about work ethic and what it takes to succeed as a business owner.
“If you’re going do something incredible, you’re going to need an emotional tolerance and high risk endurance,” the father of one said.
Perry talked about how his father would build houses for a living and not make nearly as much as the person selling the house. That experience would fuel the entrepreneur flame in Perry’s heart.
The overall message of the course was unity within the Black community. Perry often reiterated the notion that once one Black person becomes a success, it is volatile for them to keep the door open for others to make it as well.
“Once you get to where you going, don’t run from where you came from,” he stated. “Every other culture in this world understands the power of us. We have to stop looking outside ourselves for heroes and become them ourselves.”
Following his speech, Perry had a sit down conversation with CBS News correspondent DeMarco Morgan. The pair discussed how the media mogul handles criticism and #OscarsSoWhite. Perry said he was urged to speak out against the lack of diversity of the 2016 Oscars nominations. He declined. “While you fighting for a seat at someone else’s table, I’m over here building my own.”
The session ended with Martin rejoining the pair on stage with a story of how Perry took the time to call him and give encouraging words after his TV One show was cancelled. Perry gave his final thoughts, hoping that his words had planted a seed in the spirits of audience members.