It’s been a big month for media mogul Tyler Perry.
First, he was praised by Idris Elba and Kerry Washington as he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Then Hollywood came to Atlanta to help him open Tyler Perry Studios. The 330-acre studio is the first black-owned studio lot and is one of the largest in the country. It features 12 sound stages, each of which is each named after an iconic black actor.
But even while all of these honors came his way, his thoughts were about those less fortunate.
In September, he used his personal plane to fly supplies to hurricane ravaged parts of the Bahamas, which he calls his adopted home.
And now he’s focusing on building a shelter for displaced women and youth.
“You know what, right now I’m dreaming about how do I build this shelter for trafficked girls, boys and battered women,” he told Essence during his gala event to open his studio.
And during an interview with Gayle King for CBS, Perry said: “Having a compound that is a beautiful place right here somewhere on this 330 acres, where they’re trained in the business and they become self-sufficient, they live in nice apartments, there’s day care, there’s all of these wonderful things that allows them to re-enter society and then pay it forward again. That’s what I hope to do soon.”
Perry’s desire to help abused and displaced people comes from his own experiences. As a child, he was physically abused by his father, whom he called a functioning alcoholic, and sexually abused by three men and a woman, all before the age of 10. Perry opened up about his childhood in a recent issue of People magazine.
Dear 5 year old me, May I just say, “Thank you" to the little boy that I was. Thank you for all you went through to allow me to be the man I am today. I love you, and I am so thankful to God that you survived. Even when I didn’t want to, your pureness and innocence ushered me here. Thank you for these 50 years. I love you. We made it. What would you say to your younger self? This is just one paragraph of many pages that I've written to my younger self over the years. I often tell friends to write a letter to their younger self. I promise you, it will change your life. If you can get through it, you should try it. It can be so healing. Love y’all. Guess you can see I’m still celebrating a very young 50, lol.
“I would challenge anyone who is struggling or trying to figure out what to do to press on because whatever this pain was, there is an opposite. Here I am in it and I’m loving every day,” he told People.
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