Tyler Perry’s speech at the BET Awards last week really had a profound effect on me.
As the movie director, writer and actor accepted the Ultimate Icon Award, he gave one charge to the people sitting in the room: “own your stuff.” What he was saying to them is, get in the driver’s seat.
As the first black man to own a movie studio outright, he has all authority to tell everyone to get it together.
The moment that almost made me cry was when he reminded the audience that someone’s life is tied to their dreams. That’s something that I have been saying for years, so it really resonated with me.
I remember going to the Fusion Superplex in Nassau with my brother a few weeks ago. Fusion is The Bahamas’ only IMAX theatre and it is an extraordinary facility.
He and I had gone to see the John Wick movie and when it was over, he went to use the restroom. During that time alone, I kept looking around at the facility, totally in awe of what it had become. I remembered when the developers had such a tough time getting funding for the theatre complex. It literally took years for this to come to fruition and I’m sure many people doubted it would ever happen. I was one of those doubters.
The owners later told the story of how investors offered plenty money to get the theatre up and running, but they wanted a lot of control, so the owners passed on several deals.
They eventually secured the right partnership and the rest is history.
As I was looking around, I had a thought. Had the owners not fought for their vision, the scores of people working there today might not have had a job and I would not have had the ultimate movie experience. Someone’s life was tied to their dream.
Summit 21 Founder Inspires Me
I also thought of Summit 21 founder, Morgan DeBaun, a millennial (she’s 29) who created an event to empower black women and give them the tools they need to take their lives and careers to the next level.
I recently attended her event in Atlanta, GA, and though weeks have passed, I’m still thinking about what it took to pull off an event of that magnitude. I’m sure getting the event to the level it is today was no easy feat.
I also think of the blood, sweat, tears, doubts and mounds of rejection she must have had to experience to make it a reality.
But, look at the many people who now work for this young woman and look at the many people’s whose lives are positively impacted by her dream, including me.
The reason I refuse to quit is because I know that someone’s life is tied to my dreams. Someone will take care of their families because of the job I will provide to them. Someone will realize their dreams because of the groundwork I am laying today. Someone’s dreams will take shape because of something I will say.
It’s an awesome responsibility, but it’s one that I am more than happy to take it on.