Tracy Morgan received the ceremonial key to Brooklyn on Friday, one day before his 50th birthday.
“This is for you, this ain’t for me. I’m in service to you . . . I don’t even know what to say, man,” Morgan said in front of a crowd of nearly 70 fans gathered inside Brooklyn Borough Hall. His wife, Megan Wollover, daughter, Maven Sonae Morgan, and members of his extended family and longtime friends, including Method Man, huddled near the podium cheering him on.
Morgan was handed a pretty large golden key by Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams.
The “The Last O.G.” actor was met with endless praise and gratitude for his recent contributions to the borough, which include taking part in the refurbishment of playgrounds in both Bed-Stuy and Gowanus last spring.
“You tell everyone, there are only two types of Americans: Those who live in Brooklyn and those who wish they could,” Adams said, telling the crowd there was an “icon among us.” “When you hang out with him, you feel no different than hanging out with someone standing on the corner of Tompkins Avenue holding a Colt 45.”
Morgan was overcome with emotion listening to Adams speak of his pride for his borough and took to the podium wiping away tears with the palms of his hands.
Though he’s never been quiet about his Bed-Stuy home — he cried and kissed the ground at the Bed-Stuy playground opening — Morgan said he longed to reconnect with his roots while recovering from a brain injury stemming from the 2014 Walmart truck crash that sent him into a coma. Suffering from memory loss, he said he asked his mother to tell him where and when he was born (The Bronx, Nov. 10, 1968, at 5:25 a.m.).
“I wanted to know who I was after that accident. I went on Ancestry.com, you know the chart that says 25 percent African American, 10 percent Irish? My whole chart just said Brooklyn,” he said to cheers from the crowd.
Morgan, who lived in New Jersey following the accident, has found himself back in his borough filming his TBS show. The “30 Rock” alum returned to TV in April in “The Last O.G.,” which filmed in his old neighborhood and other parts of Brooklyn.
“If you are fortunate to live long enough, you are going to be misfortunate enough to experience pain. The question is how do you change pain into purpose, and this brother did not allow a vehicle collision to collide his life,” Adams said. “He continued on.”
Adams has previously awarded the golden key to the borough to Fabolous in 2017, Big Daddy Kane in June and Wyclef Jean in August, among others.