Sunday, November 23, 2014

Today I mourn the passing of Councilmember Marion S. Barry, Jr.

Today is a very sad day for our ward, our city, and our nation. As a resident of Ward 8 I mourn the passing of our voice on the council. As a resident of the District of Columbia I mourn the passing of our former mayor. As a child of history I mourn the passing of who was indisputably one of the greatest community and civil rights advocates of all time! His legacy has touched each and every one our lives.  My appreciation and understanding of our beloved (and he was beloved!) councilmember and "Mayor-for-Life" has evolved over the years. While at times I wasn't always in agreement with his actions I have always appreciated his passion, his "tell-it-like-it is" attitude, and his political savvy. We have all had much to learn from him and I am comforted to know that he passed doing what he loved -- helping others. His life was indeed a life of service.

The last time I saw Councilmember Barry was about a month ago in Anacostia. That conversation will stay with me for a lifetime. In his typical no-nonsense fashion he gave me the business, asked me if I was "reformed" and then engulfed me in one of those charismatic hugs and smiles that turns even the most die hard Marion Barry critic into a lifelong fan. After Mr. Barry concluded his business I asked him if he would take a picture with some of my HIVE 2.0 members who were big fans. He happily obliged but then he insisted that he and I take a picture together and then instructed me to "tweet that picture right now!" After he made sure I tweeted the photo he leaned on my shoulder and we chatted a little more about Ward 8 issues before hugging it out again and he was on his way. It was hands down, one of the best moments I have experienced to date and I will treasure it for a lifetime. 

The Advoc8te and The Mayor-for-Life

It is those special moments and all of his years of service and advocacy work that make me remember Mr. Barry fondly. I truly and deeply mourn his passing and I will miss him. I do miss him. Today we have lost a great man but we have not lost his spirit, his determination, his fight, his wit, and his many years of service. There will never be another like him. He was a living legend disguised as a man. The Marion Barry legacy will survive his passing and we will carry it in our hearts and minds forever.

Mayor for life indeed. 


Darrell said...

It is a sad day. This man revoultionized this city. May he rest in peace and mayhis family find comfort with God's help.

Vanessa Renee Williams said...

Well done...Mr. Barry sincerely cared for the citizens of Ward 8. My condolences to his loved ones and friends.