tv Funeral Service for Marion Barry CSPAN December 30, 2014 12:15am-12:26am EST
as a child, he saw sharecropping bind lack people to the plantation economy. and make any attempt to vote a life-threatening act. he said i had no choice but to join the civil rights movement. he said the injustice of segregation was all around me. marion barry, as a boy, knew only segregation. marion barry as a man groomed himself to challenge segregation. he used his fine mind and pension for hard work to write
his own ticket into the professional class. but marion gave up his chemistry school graduate fellowship along with his phd, although he had finished all coursework except for the thesis. for marion could not resist the call of the movement. he moved from chemistry classes to james lawson's nonviolence resistance workshops and to leadership along with diane nash in the nashville sit-ins, to raleigh where he became the first chair of the student nonviolent coordinating committee, and to the mississippi movement and the work of the mississippi freedom democratic party. during those years, marion not only steeped himself in nonviolent resistance but in active, strategic organization.
what marion learned about organizing in the deep south held him in good stead for the rest of his life. he brought community organizing to the district of columbia and organized his way into the leadership of this city. a man can choose to escape and forget childhood poverty and merely reminisce about his early years in the movement. instead, marion joined his childhood poverty with his life-changing years in the civil rights movement to form his own worldview. whatever else you may take for
marion barry's life, we must recognize the roots that shaped him. today, we rejoice that the civil rights movement brought him to the next, or is it the last, frontier for civil rights. people will choose their own part of marion barry's life to remember. but here in the district of columbia, here among those of us who still struggle for statehood, let us always
>> good evening. [applause] and thank you. for those of you who know me you know i am not shy. i am not a person that is lost for words. and like marion, i am not scared. but this has been overwhelming. and everything that has been said, there is nothing left to say except to you that marion was my dear friend. we have known each other since 1970. it was my partner.
i knew him in a way that every time i listened, all i can think about is just one thing, the essence of him. that -- >> take your time, cora. >> he was not think. -- fake. everything he did, he did little. it was a person every day of his life. he was a person that loved his people. [applause] the above his people. -- he loved his people. he was a person that took great pride in helping people get out. about the big stories you hear.
-- not the big stories that you hear about the little stories that you hear. i stop letting him go to the gas station because he would spend all of his money on the people. getting advances of money. i stopped letting him go to the grocery store as they could not get out of the grocery store. this is him every single day. and the most important thing i want to send you about my husband was that as complicated as he was, it was a very simple man. none of the trappings of anything he was exposed to from all over the world affected him to the extent that it was embarrassing. when i was first lady and he was mayor, we would get on the plane
first class and i would look over there and it would actually have -- marion would actually have a supermarket bag with his stuff in it. back at the house was 11 gold embossed attache cases. more do you have a grocery bag? that does not make any difference. yes it does. it just does. and you know what? that is what i would say to him that is the mississippi stuff. and the last thing you need to know is that his heart was hope your that he had the forgiveness of jesus christ. he really did. it people would do terrible things to him and the only would you forgive them, he forgot. it would not even stay in his mind. that was my job.
why are you talking to him? do we did? -- oh he did? he was pure of heart, a man after god's own heart. it was my husband and christopher's father. thank you so much for honoring him. >> give them another hand. >> good afternoon. i am pleased to be here with my esteemed predecessor, mayor sharon pratt. mayor anthony williams. and also with the mayor of newark, new jersey.
i'll be off of the 660,000 people who live in the district of columbia, i want to want again extend, as others have done, our deepest sympathies to the former first lady. and of course to marion christopher barry, who spoke so eloquently when he was up your earlier. -- here earlier. you know while at marion is that absent in body, i think we know that he is fully present in his spirit in this place today. isn't it, ladies and gentlemen? [applause] though he is no longer with