Tyler Perry: ‘The Strength of a Black Woman is Empowering’
kwaku Alston

Simply put, Tyler Perry loves Black women.

In the November issue of ESSENCE, the beloved director and actor says he’s often inspired by Black women. “When Black women are down with you and in your corner, you have an ally that will move heaven and earth,” says Perry. He often thinks about his late mother —”She loved from the purest place in her heart. The strength and power of a Black woman is empowering to me.”

Perry, who recently dropped 30 pounds for his new film, action-packed thriller Alex Cross, credits his close circle of sister-friends, including Oprah Winfrey, Gayle King, Bernice Davis and Cassi Davis (no relation), for keeping him in line. He says they “pray for me and cuss me out at the same time.” He also recently shared a small list of his favorite leading ladies who include Gabrielle Union, Cicely Tyson, Phylicia Rashad.

Reporting by Susan Fales-Hill

For more on Tyler Perry and his love for Black women pick up the November issue of ESSENCE on newsstands now.