“Maxine’s Baby,” streaming on Prime Video, details Tyler Perry’s rise to wealth against the odds — from navigating abuse and trauma to overcoming homelessness. The documentary is a lesson for
- self determination,
- And confidence.
Although the focus of the documentary seems to be an acknowledgment of Perry’s love for his mother Maxine and his commitment to pave the way for future generations – there were themes in the documentary around Perry being undervalued, excluded and ultimately was accepted for breakage. all the rules for traditional success.
The underestimation of black talent is not new
In 2020 when Wells Fargo
Self-determination requires ownership
There were frequent references in the documentary to Perry’s no-nonsense stance on retaining creative control and ownership of his work. While there has been an issue of artists and entertainers advocating ownership of your intellectual property rights, being faced with a decision to sell out for a one-time upfront payment can be the difference between starvation and survival at that moment. Perry built leverage by curating a fan base he could interact with via email and a successful sales track record he could bring to the table that allowed him to do what he does best without interference. By discovering a model that works and scaling it, he was able to create enormous wealth simply by rinsing and repeating.
When the odds are stacked against you, bet on yourself
Perry often reinvested in his projects, even with the possibility of losing it all. He cites strong criticism from members of his community about the impact of his work by accepting that it comes with the territory. Many first generation wealth builders may be in a sort of limbo as to what to do with their newly acquired wealth and more often than not navigate a phenomenon referred to as the “Black Tax” where their perceived wealth is expected to immediately return to the communities. from which it came, before the understanding of how to navigate this new wealth or the strengthening of habits to maintain that wealth were strongly established. While it appears that Perry did engage in caring for his family and community through philanthropy, it was immediately clear that putting on his own life jacket came through reinvesting in his dream first.
While an intimate look at Tyler Perry’s rise and success, this documentary sheds light on familiar barriers and systems that his work aims to dismantle. It especially highlights the mindset of those navigating the void of the wealth building process by providing a kind of blueprint for things to anticipate, things to avoid, and things to accept as part of the process.