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Farrakhan Talks Black Cinema, Expresses Strong Admiration For Tyler Perry, Compares Him To Elijah Muhammad's Son, Praises Madea

by Tambay A. Obenson
January 7, 2013 12:47 PM
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In a very recent interview that covered a wide-range of topics, Minister Louis Farrakhan looked back on 2012, and looked ahead to 2013.

Topics covered include, as you can guess (given this blog's focus), black cinema - specifically, he talked much more in depth about Django Unchained (a more comprehensive response to the film than he gave Dr Boyce Watkins a week or so ago, when he challenged Spike Lee's dismissal of the film); he also talked at lenght about Tyler Perry, and Madea. And it may come as a surprise to some of you that he gives serious, mega props to Tyler, calling him brilliant, and a giant, and praises his portrayal of Madea as a vision/representation of the "strong black woman" that many of us (black folks) know and love. 

"I want to say how greatful I am to Tyler Perry. He's probably one of the most brilliant young entrepreneurs that we have. Why do I admire him? I have never seen his portrayal of ‘Madea’ as a man cross-dressing. I saw his wonderful portrayal of Madea as bringing to the forefront the strongest person in the history of our sojourn in America, and that is Madea. That strong, Black woman who was the cornerstone of her family. She always was that figure that guidance [of] correction, reprimand, discipline, and Tyler Perry brought her to the screen in funny ways, but what I was seeing was the greatness of the strong, Black woman who saw us through, from yesterday until today."

So there you have it.

He goes on to compare Perry to Imam W. Deen Muhammad, the son of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad and leader of the Nation of Islam after his father’s death. According to Farrakhan, as a leader, Imam Muhammad wanted to use psychology and art to heal, making the connection to what he believes is Tyler Perry's strategy as well, stating... 

“When you look at Tyler Perry’s movies, you see the brilliance of T.D. Jakes, a spiritual giant. You see the majesty of human problems acted out. So you could sit in the theater and see yourself in your madness, in your gladness, in your goodness, in your evil, then come out of that experience, for a $15 ticket and some popcorn, and say, ‘Wow, I feel better.’ “So this New Year is a shout-out to the giant called Tyler Perry. A spiritual giant, a magnificent human being, and I pray that this year his art, his greatness, will shine even more in healing our people through mass projection of drama through films and plays.”

Maybe not quite what one might expect to have heard from Farrakhan regarding Tyler Perry and his alter ego, Madea; although, maybe it's right inline, and not at all a shock. 

But the initial question he's asked is about Django Unchained specifically, and he segues into Tyler Perry for a bit, before returning to finish up with Django

So Minister Louis Farrakhan praises Django Unchained, and Tyler Perry, all in about a week!

The conversation is worth a listen; it's about an hour long (as you likely know, Farrakhan's replies to questions aren't always short or curt; he loves to tell stories to make his points). So you could just have it playing in the background as I did, while doing other things. 

The conversation about movies starts around the 6-minute mark, and he goes on for about 30 straight minutes on Tyler and Django.

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  • Greg | January 8, 2013 6:34 PMReply

    Do we really need a cross-dressing Tyler Perry to represent the strong Black woman? Why not get a real Black woman...sorry...some real Black women to represent our strong Black sisters?

  • Eunice | January 8, 2013 1:45 PMReply

    Yeap, Just what I need in my life, bible thumpers telling me the meaning of womanhood. baby bye!

  • Peter Archanjo | January 8, 2013 8:31 AMReply

    One Cinema to rule them all.

  • Floyd Webb | January 8, 2013 8:26 AMReply

    In the New Year in a New World, residual leftover bullcrap. Time for NEW leadership in a new age. Moving on......

  • Floyd Webb | January 8, 2013 9:46 AM

    Now Now JB no need to get personal behind anonymous initials.
    Get ACTIVE!

  • JB | January 8, 2013 9:41 AM

    And we assume that Floyd Webb is going to step up and self-appoint himself to this new age leadership? :-/

  • JMac | January 7, 2013 10:08 PMReply

    He must be itching for favors.

  • Greg | January 9, 2013 12:25 AM

    He wants the Django Unchained action figures, and a lead role in TP's next movie..."Madea Joins The NOI".

  • getthesenets | January 7, 2013 9:59 PMReply

    now..don't know if this is S&A material.

    But since we are talking about Malcolm, there are some GREAT videos of people destroying Manning Marable's recent book about Malcolm..saw Herb Boyd on BOOKTV last year dismantling it..2 or 3 books written primarily to challenge some of Marable's claims.

  • getthesenets | January 7, 2013 9:55 PMReply

    technically haven't there been 4 leaders of the NOI?

    Master Fard, Elijah Muhammad, Wallace(Elijah's son) and Louis Farrakhan

    Yes, I'm aware that shortly after becoming the leader..that Wallace changed the focus to Sunni Islam

  • Famo | January 7, 2013 10:31 PM

    Oooooooh! Graduated from Wikipedia A&M, did we?

  • ALM | January 7, 2013 8:44 PMReply

    “So this New Year is a shout-out to the giant called Tyler Perry. A spiritual giant, a magnificent human being, and I pray that this year his art, his greatness, will shine even more in healing our people through mass projection of drama through films and plays.”<<<< Man, how bad does Farrakhan want a part in the next "Madea" film? Dang......

  • Adam Scott Thompson | January 7, 2013 6:58 PMReply

    I Farrakhan't...

  • turner | January 7, 2013 7:36 PM


  • turner | January 7, 2013 5:01 PMReply

    In the things that make you go hmmm...department: ever wonder why the 3 Leaders of the Nation of Islam are the same complexion?

  • turner | January 8, 2013 11:16 AM

    Calm down! I said he was a leader in spirit... no one can deny that.

  • Winston | January 7, 2013 9:20 PM

    You are a MFing liar. Malcolm did not lead the Nation of Islam; he tried to undermine its mission. There have been two true leaders. Stop your lying. And stop getting your history from the movies,

  • Turner | January 7, 2013 7:35 PM

    Malcom X was certainly revered as one of them in spirit minus the "Honorable" prefix.

  • Winston | January 7, 2013 7:32 PM

    There have only ever been two leaders of the Nation of Islam-- The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.

  • Mark & Darla | January 7, 2013 2:17 PMReply

    In the corner laughing like Linda Blair in the Excorist.

  • Akym Sims | January 7, 2013 1:44 PMReply

    I've learned never to say "Happy New Year" to Farrakhan, geez. Just say hello, nod and smile. lol

  • No | January 7, 2013 1:37 PMReply

    Does anyone really care about the film criticism of Farrakhan? His only really great insight re Tyler Perry is Perry entrepreneurial-ship, which Spike Lee is too obtuse to appreciate. The tragedy of contemporary black filmmaking is that Perry has a infrastructure that tends toward low-brow fare while Spike Lee tends to offer a high caliber of filmmaking, Red Hook Summer notwithstanding. Lee and Perry both have something to offer the other, but Lee's consistent bashing of Perry's output closes off any possible collaboration. And that may explain why Quentin Tarantino is able to get a reinterpretation of slavery done but not Lee.

  • Troy | January 8, 2013 4:25 PM

    Not that he is a white man who makes more successful race baiting films than Spike. Yet nobody talks about how characters from any of Tarantino's films resonate with people. All his work is cartoonish a live action graphic novel.

  • urbanauteur | January 7, 2013 1:36 PMReply

    Whaaaa...? a Kofi Capitalist take on Black Cinema Representation..gat da f!@@K outta here!

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