Tyler Perry has given generously to the legendary Apollo Theater.
In a press release, the multi-talented creator, Perry received the Impact Award during the Apollo Theater’s annual Spring Benefit. During his acceptance speech, he revealed that he would be donating $500,000 to make sure that the legacy of the theater will grow and thrive in the coming years.
“When you are honored by a legacy, a history that is as rich the Apollo, you have to honor that. So what I’m hoping that most of us do is understand how important it is to support these kinds of venues,” Perry said. “‘Cause there’s so much that’s happening in the world where people are trying to erase our history, they don’t want it taught, they don’t want it taught in schools. And you know that’s going on, so it’s so important that we ourselves, and our kids and our people know and remember the history.”
Perry continued, “And on this stage with this building there have been some legends. And I don’t want you to ever take that for granted Harlem, don’t you ever take this place for granted and what it means to us. Many of you may have heard me say this, my studio was once a former Confederate army base where there were 3.9 million Negroes enslaved at the time and there were Confederate soldiers plotting and planning on how to keep them enslaved. “
He added, “Well now that land is owned by one Negro and I know the importance of what it means to honor that and honor the history of what it has been. And to redirect it and re-change it. So it’s very important to me that we all give and support and with that said I’d like to give a half million dollars to make sure that this place continues to grow and thrive. I want my son to see it, I want your kids to see it, I want all of us. Give it up for the Apollo.”
With Tyler Perry’s donation, the Apollo Theater raised $3.7 million, the most the theater has ever raised for a fundraising event.