The Emmy Awards honored Tyler Perry with the 2020 Governors Award in recognition not only for his career achievements but also for the doors he helped to open in the entertainment industry for people of color.
Oprah Winfrey and Chris Rock spoke about Perry’s amazing achievements.
“He’s a man of deep faith, and he’s a visionary,” Winfrey said, adding that he’s the recipient of the award because “he dreamed the impossible dream.”
She underscored that when Perry reached the top, gave opportunities to Black people to work in front of and behind the cameras.
After receiving his award, Perry talked about a quilt his grandmother gave him, which he didn’t appreciate at the time. Later he learned the history behind a similar quilt that was made by a woman who was a former slave. Each piece of the quilt represented a memory in her life’s journey.
Today, Perry said he’s made achievements that his ancestors could not have imagined. Each person working for him – the marginalized and underappreciated of every background – are adding to the quilt that will take them to higher heights of achieving what may have seemed impossible.
Here is the transcript below:
I want to say a very special thank you to the television academy. To the board of governors, Kim Coleman, Ari Emanuel, to Matt Johnson. To everybody at Tyler Perry Studios and my foundation. This is amazing. I didn’t expect to feel this way.
When I was about 19 years old, I left home and my grandmother. She gave me a quilt that she had made. And this quilt was something that I didn’t really care for.