‘Black’ Militant & Revolutionary Marion Barry ‘Gives Up The Ghost’ in 2014
On 23 November 2014 ‘Black’ Brother Marion S. Barry ‘gave up the ghost’ in America’s Capital — Washington, DC. This BlackParentSpeaks ‘WORD’ is a brief look at — and about — Marion Barry the ‘Black’ man!
Marion and BlackParentSpeaks began our relationship as active ‘Black’ militants, revolutionaries, cohorts, intimate friends, confidants and more during the 1960’s Black ‘Movement’.
Marion Barry – what can I say?!
Marion was a worthy and memorable force to say the least. He was focused and relevant. Marion led by doing; he was an activist and Black people throughout DC – the nation’s Capital – loved him. Marion paid his dues and he was – like many of US – beyond deserving of respect, loyalty and more.
Marion spoke the language that we ‘over’stood. He was fearless in his beliefs and actions. Marion was consistent although sometimes unpredictable. He was serious about life. Marion was a true ‘player’ – a runner who also focused on US sisters.
Marion had an obvious penchant for Black women. We sometimes lamented that if ‘Whites’ were ever to ‘get at’ Marion, it would be through a sister because Marion was attractive to the sisters and often ‘tempted’…. But, Marion was Marion.
Marion was serious about who he was – ‘Dear God, please do not let me be misunderstood’….
Marion was ‘real’ and he ‘shared’ with me. When Marion drifted from who he was, it bothered him greatly. Perhaps the most notable occasion involved young Rufus ‘Catfish’ Mayfield. Marion and I ‘talked’ more than once after what happened. Marion felt ‘painful’ guilt; at times, I wonder if Marion ever truly made amends….
Marion and I and Rev. David Eaton and Stokely Carmichael and Lester McKinney and, and, and – the list goes on.
Marion and I – at times – communicated by way of a personal ‘code’. On at least one occasion, that led to a suspected bomb threat.
I am reminded of ‘Black’ actor Robert Hooks who happened into ‘Black’ Ed Murphy’s DC Club one day and soon ‘offered’ to pay for my drink. It was obvious that Brother Hooks was intending to ‘show-up’ Marion because Hooks ‘talked trash’ about Marion and the ladies…. Hooks ‘assumed’ I was Marion’s ‘date’. I ‘thanked’ Hooks for the offer but explained that Marion would pay for my drinks and anything else I ordered. Later that evening, Marion and ‘Murph’ and I shared hearty laughs….
Marion was a genuine brother who did not shy away from trouble. Marion Barry looked trouble in the eye and took action. I remember Marion showing up at my DC place-of-residence prepared to protect me from the violent advances of law enforcement. I, also, remember Marion ‘kicking in the door’ of the police paddy wagon and what ensued thereafter…. The ‘truths’ go on and on. I sometimes think about Marion and the ‘bug’ he sometimes drove. I think about Marion’s romantic and sensitive sides and more.
I recall a time when Marion and others got into an ‘alleged’ protracted gun fight in buildings along the streets of DC. Law enforcement had cordoned off the area of the ‘alleged’ shootings…. Upon learning of the situation, yours truly intervened to bring a ‘peaceful’ end to the stalemate with no resulting charges.
Marion could be relentless and persistent – a man who did not give up or give in. The DC bus ‘MAN’cott was Marion’s ‘baby’. Home Rule was Marion’s ‘baby’.
During one of the DC Black United Front (BUF) meetings, I refused to give in to the wishes of BUF Board member Marion Barry. Marion felt he could persuade me otherwise. Marion stated that he and company would come to my DC home with force. I responded that if Marion and company did show up at my place, I would ‘blow’ him away first…. Following that exchange, Marion and I BOTH burst out in laughter.
‘Black’ Marion S. Barry was a man worthy of respect and loyalty. He was true and he was human. Marion shared love, pain, and hurt as he gave to the struggle in spite of…. Marion opened doors and provided employment to DC’s ‘Black’ youth and others. He paid his dues and more.
BlackParentSpeaks remembers ‘Black’ Marion S. Barry as a man of substance and love.
‘Don’t forget our reparations’.
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Undying love for Black people!