So everyone has had their say about the great Marion Barry. *sighing* I'm dating myself but who cares? Marion Barry's story is almost Shakespearian, his tragic flaws were many BUT he served the city for 16 years...FOUR TERMS...AS MAYOR! It's a story about race and class as as it is about his personal charisma. The cat was so big, so excessive. It's very telling. We will never see another. He came from a divided Washington (which was very poor at the time, not the Gallery Place you see now. We used to trick there) and became our champion ... "The lost, the last, and the least" as he called us. Imagine if there was social media then? Marion REFUSED to conform to the EXPECTATIONS of politicians and popular beliefs. MB came from a civil rights background which essentially gave him street cred. He started out as a street agitator and went from a dashiki to a freaking suit -- that would be impossible today to so do and keep his credibility. Consider this: MB was voted-in BY WHITE WASHINGTON (not Ward 8 or anyone across the Sousa Bridge) initially. The Washington Post ENDORSED HIM his first term. He was several different mayors. Washington's Darling. The fucking mayor of K. Street. Remember, before MB MOST of downtown DC was burned-out shells, no shopping, tricking, Four Dudes, Cavaliers, Bullets Games. Nothing. Lest we forget the riots of '68. It's the MLK Library for a reason and Marion Barry put the damn thing there. He started the revitalizing of DC, don't get it fucked up. All those pretty big-butt white chicks with flip-flops, shades, and red-hair you see walking down 7th Street in June is because of Barry -- he brought white and Jewish investors back into downtown DC. I credit everything in my fucking life besides AUNT HONEY (MOMMA) to his most brilliant and UNPRECEDENTED move ... The Summer Youth Employment Program.
Me and Derek Lovelace copped gigs at Clark Elementary I think. Barry singlehandedly put the work-spirit into a skinny, awkward, non-dressing bamma like me. Now I only ride German thanks to Marion Barry. There is practically no one who was born '71 forward who doesn't owe their careers to Marion Barry. FUCK HARVEY LEVIN AND TMZ. REAL TALK. Let's ponder this: Would there be a Mitchellville, Half-Note, Grace's, or an AFFLUENT Prince George's County full of well-heeled snobby negroes like myself without Marion Barry? Get the fuck outta here. Side note ~~> If Barry was Mayor during the time Pratt-Kelly was mayor ( her daughter had a FAT ass, worked in Benneton at Mazza Gallerie) the Redskins would be playing IN DC instead of that dump they call FedEx Field. Barry "walked the walked" and enriched everyone around him. My girl, Chelz (@isis360), tells a story about some lames she and her peeps were dating didn't believe she was down with MB. She told the negro to make a right at the corner, pulled-up and Barry came out and kicked-it with all of the kids. Real nigga style. Think about it: Mayor Kelly lived Uptown On 16th Street, Mayor Williams lived in Foggy Bottom, I can't remember the bald-headed, light-skin cat who brought everyone iPhones but he lived west of 16th Street. Barry lived as a pauper in SE DC... IN THE HOOD with the people. Barry steered FEDERAL MONIES into black businesses throughout the city which, in-turn, created the most affluent black suburb in the entire fucking United States of America -- Prince George's County. Check the facts. Upper Marlboro, Bowie (Woodmore North and South, Fairwood? We getting it), Mitchellville, Clinton. Negro what?
All because of Barry. Barry was, if nothing else, effective. He struck fear in his peers. He pushed his agenda for the poor blacks through Congress as well as the city council. Fuck what ya heard. Barry was far more powerful than Congresswoman Norten (and I love her too!). Through all of his flaws, his addiction to wine, women, and song, Barry never enriched himself. He was for the people. He was a terrible manager of his own life, but an amazing manager of Washington, DC. We are newly gentrified but it wasn't on MB's watch. I'm signing-off until Monday minus check-ins. Be Peace. :-P