Multi-hyphenate creator Tyler Perry has never been one to shy away from philanthropic contributions, but his latest donation to the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem may be the most iconic of all.
Per a press release sent to The Root, in receiving the Impact Award during the theater’s annual Spring Benefit, Perry revealed during his acceptance speech that he would be donating $500,000 dollars to ensure that it would continue to “grow and thrive” for years to come.
“When you are honored by a legacy, a history that is as rich as 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, that we give to these kinds of venues,” Perry said in his acceptance speech. “‘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.”
“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.
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.”
The Alex Cross star was presented the Impact Award by The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg. With his donation, the Apollo raised a record $3.7 million, the most ever received for this fundraising event. Other notable guests of th evening included DJ DNice, The Roots, Anthoyn Hamilton, Kenan Thompson and more.