Written by on July 4, 2019

Story by Chuck Tackett


My nephew Joe is a man in his early 40’s. When he was about a year and a half old toddler, he was out and about with his Uncle Chuck doing errands. We were at the store. I was at the pharmacy getting a prescription filled for nasal decongestant. He asked me a couple of times what I was getting some medicine for my nose. Joe decided to ask me for the 3rd time. Since I knew he was being a little brat, I tickled him on his tummy and replied: “It’s none of your business.” When he repeated his teasing, I tickled him again and said: “Mind your own business.” He started laughing really hard. Being a small toddler, he couldn’t repeat what I said, so he blurted out “Get you some business.” This time it was Uncle Chuck that was doing all the laughing. It must have been the serious look on his face when he said: “Get you some business.” After that incident, my nephew and I for years up to and including into his late teens had this running catch-all phrase of “Get you some business.” I used it for people who I didn’t like or who I thought was too nosey.

Case in point: A few years ago, I friended a man on Facebook who claimed he knew Tyler Perry since he was a kid. He claimed he had read a few of my “Chuck’s Chat” articles and thought they were interesting.

At first, everything was cool, but as Mr. Perry became more and more successful, he started claiming that Perry was in the closet and he had sex with a number of his male co-stars in his movies. He also was telling me Tyler Perry was in several orgies with them.

I pretty much ignored his claims. When he finally realized I was not taking the bait, I had to school him that I am not a gossip writer. I let him know that instead of harping on Tyler Perry so much that he needed to get him some business. I unfriended and blocked when I grew tired of him wanting me to put this information on Tyler Perry out in the internet universe.

Recently, I heard about Tyler Perry’s controversial speech at the 2019 BET’s Awards for Lifetime Icon Award he was presented by Taraji P. Henson. People either loved it or hated it. I didn’t hear it so as I am writing what he said, I am hearing it for the first time like plenty of you who may not have heard it as well. You can form your own opinion on it.

Mr. Perry stated, “Thank you. I just want to say a special thanks to BET, my new family. I can’t wait to get started over there with our new shows. Thank you so much for this. Thanks to Scott and everybody over there. Thank you so much to Viacom, Cherie who’s here, Bob, everybody who’s here. From my heart, I want to say thank you. I couldn’t help think of my mother.

“I remember being a kid, 5 years old, she would take me to the projects with her, when she played cards Friday nights with a bunch of women. These women didn’t have more than a 12th-grade education, they were smart Black women. They were powerful Black women. They had great stories to tell. I was a 5-year-old kid sitting on the floor playing with my matchbox cars listening to them talk about their men, their relationships and their pain. When one of them got really sad, another would come out with a joke and they would all start laughing.

“I didn’t know I was in a master class for my life. I would get home, my father would be beating my mother, doing all kinds of things and saying all kinds of stuff to her. He would leave the room. I would walk up and imitate one of those women and she would start laughing. There was power in that, that I really didn’t get until I got older.

“I remember being about 11 or 12 years old on my way to my new school, and I got to this intersection. I had to walk past pimps, prostitutes, literally a graveyard to get to the 6 lane intersection. There was a man standing there saying, ‘Will someone helps me cross?’ There were all kinds of people passing him by and I said, ‘I will help you cross.’ He told me he was going to my school to sell candy there. That was how he made his living. So I helped him cross the street to get there. We became good friends. His name was Mr. Butler.

“That moment reminded me of my mother bringing her out of her pain to laughter to help her cross. My first ten movies were all about her subconsciously wanting her to know she was worthy, that Black women you are worthy. You’re special. You’re powerful. You’re amazing. All of that was helping people to cross. When I started hiring people like Taraki, Viola Davis, and Idris Elba, they couldn’t get jobs in this town, but God blessed me to be in a position to be able to hire them.

“I was trying to help somebody cross. when I built my studio, I built it in one of the poorest Black neighborhoods in Atlanta so that young Black kids can see that a Black man did that and they could do it too. I was trying to help somebody cross. The studio was once a Confederate Army base and I want you to hear this. It meant that there were Confederate soldiers on that base plotting and planning on how to keep 3.9 million Negroes enslaved. Now that land is owned by one Negro. It’s all about helping somebody cross.

“When everybody was fighting for a seat at the table saying ‘Oscar so White’, ‘Oscar so White’, you go ahead and do that. While you are fighting for a seat at the table, I’ll be down at Atlanta building my own. What I know for sure is if I could build this table, God would prepare it for me in the presence of my enemies. Rather than being an icon, I will rather be an inspiration. Thank you BET, my new family, thank you, everybody. I want you to hear this. Every dreamer in this room. People whose lives are tied to your dreams, own your own stuff. Own your own business. Own your own way. God bless you. Thank you, BET. Thank you, Scott. I love you all.”

The “Scott” Tyler kept referring to is Scott Mills. Presently, Scott is the President and CEO of BET since January 2017.

From what I heard from that speech, all Tyler did was speak truth to power. From what I could see instead of dogging Tyler, maybe those who are so upset by his speech need to take heed the advice from my nephew Joe and “Get you some business.” Stop worrying about Tyler Perry’s sex life and heed his advice in his acceptance award speech.

Chuck’s Chat operates under an open authority. Opinions and comments are always welcome. Send them to soultraindancing@yahoo.com

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