The Times-Picayune is marking the tricentennial of New Orleans with its ongoing 300 for 300 project, running through 2018 and highlighting 300 people who have made New Orleans New Orleans, featuring original artwork commissioned by NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune with Where Y'Art gallery. Today: Percy Miller, aka "Master P."
No Limit: From the Calliope housing complex to the Forbes list
The icon: Percy "Master P" Miller.
The legacy: A product of New Orleans' Calliope public housing complex, Percy Miller just wanted to help pull his family out of the cycle of poverty. So, armed with a $10,000 inheritance, he opened a record store. It would be the start of a business empire that -- built on Miller's business acumen and tireless determination to succeed -- would see him founding No Limit Records, a label that would by 2013 make him the nation's third-wealthiest hip-hop mogul, according to Forbes. It would also provide him a pulpit from which to promote New Orleans rap -- recorded by himself, as Master P, and a wealth of other artists -- and convince the world that, when it comes to music, New Orleans isn't just the birthplace of jazz.
The artist: Jeremy Paten.
The quote: "I come from a poor culture of people. Nobody in my family had money. I had to break the negative cycle and pass that on to my kids." -- Percy Miller, in a 2015 interview with Forbes magazine
Jim Coulter isn't from New Orleans, but he married a New Orleans girl, Penny Saer -- which, let's be honest, is the next best thing. So, when the city lay in ruins following 2005's Hurricane Katrina, he, like many people, wanted to do something. Unlike most people, though, he was in a unique position to do so, as the billionaire owner of the San Francisco-based TPG, one of the largest private equity firms in the world. Not only did he quietly begin investing in the storm-ravaged city but actively researching how to best rebuild New Orleans' business infrastructure and encouraging other investors and entrepreneurs to bet on the Crescent City. He was, in other words, there when New Orleans needed him most -- and he still is.
Homer Plessy was just a shoemaker, that's all. But on July 7, 1892, his name would become enshrined in American history when Plessy -- a Creole man of color -- bought a train ticket in New Orleans and climbed aboard a whites-only rail car bound for Covington. The train was stopped and he was promptly arrested, sparking a legal case -- backed by the Comite des Citoyens, a local civil-rights group -- that would result in the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Plessy v. Ferguson ruling. The court would rule against Plessy, with its "separate but equal" judgment propping up segregation laws for 62 years, but it also laid the foundation for civil rights battles to come -- and showed that anybody could take a stand to challenge the status quo. Even a humble shoemaker.....read more at NOLA.Com