Tyler Perry is known today as the first African-American to own a major film and TV studio. He’s a pioneer whose own life story is a rags-to-riches tale that reads like a screenplay. Now a writer, actor, director and producer — Perry’s success grew out of a troubled home in a poor neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana. Strong on faith, Perry named his first play “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” after an old Negro spiritual. It was a gospel musical about two adult survivors of child abuse.

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