Rattlers make an appearance at the grand opening of Tyler Perry studios

Distinguished Alumni from left, C.O.C.O Brown, Kim Nelson, R Jai Gillum, Will Packer, Keisha Bottoms, Andrew Gillum. Photo courtesy Instagram

Rattlers along with the surrounding community know the Saturday of homecoming week brings in large crowds with the parade and well anticipated Homecoming Game. Though, this particular Saturday a few highly distinguished Rattlers missed the winning game to witness history.

On October 5th actor, playwright, filmmaker, and comedian, Tyler Perry, held a Red-Carpet event, followed by an invite only, black-tie Gala in celebration of opening the first ever fully black owned studio lot.

The $250 million studio is 330 acres with the promise of Perry expanding around the surrounding community with eateries, shopping outlets and more.

Highly renowned guests that were in attendance included, Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, Samuel Jackson, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Colin Kaepernick.

Alongside these individuals stood former Mayor of Tallahassee Andrew Gillum and wife R Jai Gillum, Film and Television Producer, Will Packer, Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Bottoms, Television and Syndicated Radio producer, Kim Nelson, and Independent Record Label Head and Performing Artist, C.O.C.O Brown.

These distinguished Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Alumni were invited by Tyler Perry to attend the weekend long journey that highlighted the success of black excellence on the very grounds that once stood “a confederate army base,” in which Perry explained back in June during his BET Awards acceptance speech.

“Incredible night. Celebrating incredible talent. Hosted by an incredible person.” Gillum said in an Instagram post congratulating Perry.

Bishop T.D. Jakes also spoke highly of Perry while being interviewed on the red carpet.

“Your commitment and tenacity goes beyond the human comprehension,” said Jakes.

To be amidst the presence of such individuals is a rewarding experience. Fortunately, I was also one of the Rattlers, attending the Red-Carpet event. Having the opportunity to witness, firsthand, the grand opening of Tyler Perry Studios was definitely a rewarding experience that left me feeling empowered and inspired like never before.

To be a rattler seeing alumni holding such positions and being a part of something so groundbreaking, brings it all full circle. FAMU is like no other university, and our presence was definitely made at the grand opening of Tyler Perry Studios.