Tyler Perry is the recipient of the Governors Award at the 2020 Emmy Award.
The 51-year-old director, producer, and writer took to the stage during the virtual ceremony on Sunday (September 2) to accept the honor.
In his acceptance speech, Tyler shared a family story about his grandma giving him a quilt, that had a major significance in his life.
“When I was about 19 years old, I left home and my grandmother, she gave me a quilt that she had made,” Tyler recalled. “And this quilt was something I didn’t really care for. It had all these different colors and these different patches in it. And I was quite embarrassed by it. I had no value in it at all.”
Years later at an antique store, Tyler came across a similar quilt. The salesperson then told him a story about the quilt, which came from a freed slave woman.
“I became so embarrassed,” Tyler admitted. “Here I was, a person who prides myself on celebrating our heritage, our culture, and I didn’t even recognize the value in my grandmother’s quilt. I dismissed her work and her story because it didn’t look like what I thought it should. Now, whether we know it or not, we are all sewing our own quilts with our thoughts, our behaviors, our experiences, and our memories.”
Tyler continued, “I stand here tonight to say thank you to all of the people who are celebrating and know the value of every patch, and every story, and every color that makes up this quilt that is our business, this quilt that is our lives, this quilt that is America.”
“Because in my grandmother’s quilt, there are no patches that represented Black people on television,” Tyler concluded his speech. “But in my quilt, her grandson is being celebrated by the Television Academy. I thank you for this. God bless you.”
You can check out the full list of 2020 Emmy winners here.
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