Last weekend Tyler Perry created history when he opened Tyler Perry Studios, one of the largest film studios in the nation making him the first ever African-American to outright own a major film studio. Situated on 330-acres of land in Atlanta, Georgia on what was Fort McPherson, a former confederate army base, Tyler Perry Studios is larger than Sony, Paramount, Disney and Warner Bros Studios lots combined. The milestone was celebrated by Black Hollywood elite such as Viola Davis, Ava DuVernay, Beyoncé, and Samuel L. Jackson, taking a tour of the each of the 12 sound stages, all of which are named after African-American icons and legends in the industry: Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Cicely Tyson, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Will Smith, Halle Berry, Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, and Diahann Carroll.
The undertaking of marking Atlanta as the center of Black Hollywood is amazing. As an African-American creative writer the inspiration of the task that Tyler Perry has taken on is incredible. He is quoted as saying "Dream Bigger" which is why when he felt that Hollywood was ignoring the contributions of African Americans in cinema he opened his own production company to make his own movies and now a film studio that will bring new ideas and tell not just one narrative but a vast and diverse spectrum of stories so that everyone is represented. I can not wait to see what comes next.