Tyler Perry takes to the Power Stage at Essence Festival

The 2019 Essence Festival, which took place earlier this month in New Orleans, Louisiana, brought together hundreds of thousands of attendees and countless celebrities, performers, and leading figures to celebrate and educate across numerous topics within the African American community.

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Essence Festival, the weekend was packed with everything from panel discussions, appearances by 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, nonstop concerts, interactive activities with various entrepreneurs, and a keynote speech from former First Lady Michelle Obama.

When Tyler Perry appeared on the Power Stage at this year’s Essence Festival, the writer-director-actor-producer shared many messages, including that around the importance of black professionalism in the entertainment industry and beyond.

“We as black people have to come into a level of professionalism that is beyond what’s expected,” Perry said, noting that his shows always start on time and he constantly operates with a level of respect and excellence in order to dispel preconceived notions.

There is, however, one person who may not adhere to this: Madea. “If Madea had a salon she’d be cussing everyone out,” said Perry before giving the audience a brief snippet of the Madea voice we all know and love.

Perry left the audience with yet another powerful message that encapsulated the spirit of the weekend.

“You must have a level of excellence in what you do, because the way you do one thing is the way you do all things.”

Watch a clip of Perry’s speech here!

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