tv Funeral Service for Marion Barry CSPAN December 30, 2014 12:25am-12:49am EST
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 us,
we also know how much he contributed to the growth and to the development of his beloved district of columbia. there are so many marion barry stories, so many instances in which the mayor for life changed someone's life or opened the door of opportunity for a person or community. like many other washingtonians i choose to remember marion barry by remembering his lifelong commitment to building up our city and working to free it from congressionally imposed shackles the servitude to which we were relegated in the district of columbia. marion's own story is replete with witnessing injustices here
and around the country. he knew well the daunting heights of the barriers of advancement and success faced by african americans in this nation. and he was especially gifted at getting young people involved in creating a new future for themselves and all of us. when marion barry came to washington in 1965 to work with snic, he saw a city that in many ways was every bit as segregated as the mississippi of his childhood. he found a majority black city that was ruled not by residents but by a congress in which residents had no voting voice. and he also learned congress had delegated oversight of the city
to its most conservative, white, southern members. marion barry had found a place where he would make his mark first as an activist for better relations with police and better job opportunities for african americans in the city. he stepped up to the plate as a servant leader because there was work to be done. he got elected to the board of education and then after home rule, such as it was, such as it is, was approved for the district of columbia, he was elected to the first popularly elected d.c. council. many of us know that in his first term, first term as mayor he achieved some truly remarkable successes.
he helped to get the city's chaotic finances under control and helped turn our metropolitan police department into an agency whose officers look more like the people of the district of columbia. ladies and gentlemen, couldn't a lot of other cities learn that at this stage? [applause] he also helped build the district's black middle class through a groundbreaking program that required a share of city business to go to black-owned enterprises. and, of course, he created a widely acclaimed summer youth employment program. how many people have you heard say, i got my first job under marion barry? [applause]
i knew marion barry for years. and there is one anecdote that leaps to mind. and he and i talked about it often. it was an example of his true character. some may may know i once served as the executive director of what was then known as the association for retarded citizens. one of our key goals was to move people with intellectual disabilities from an inhumane institution named forest haven into community living in the district of columbia. [applause] there was, there was, ladies, fierce opposition -- ladies and gentlemen, fierce opposition in many neighborhoods to group homes, unfortunately supported by some of the worst myths imaginable. one evening, i was with marion
barry in an affluent committee where the district was seeking to establish a home. nearly 200 people showed up and packed this room for this meeting. and they only had one purpose, the purpose was to stop this home from opening. once mayor barry finished his presentation, there was a man that immediately rose and began to pepper him with questions. when it became clear that the man's inquiries had no constructive purpose, mayor barry said, and i quote, "you really don't want any answers do you? if you want to talk about how we make this work, i will stay here with you all night. otherwise, i have nothing else to say to you. go-- you."
[applause] that was vintage barry standing up for people who were disadvantaged, people who could not effectively fight for themselves. and by the way, the meeting ended soon thereafter. the home opened and was a huge success because marion barry had stood up for a group of people that could not effectively speak for themselves. [applause] many of us don't get to smell the flowers while we are here on earth. in this last year of his life, mayor barry's book was published and he was able to share his story, his thoughts, and his insights with many of us as he appeared at book signings and interviews on television and radio. those who had never heard of marion barry were able to learn
more about him and gain insight into the person who was popularly known as "mayor for life" in the district of columbia. [applause] as longtime supporters and newcomers to the barry story swarmed around him, they embraced his journey and worked with him so he could pass the torch of knowledge on to the next generation. marion barry's legacy is intimately woven into the fabric of the district of columbia. he is still alive in so many ways in the district of columbia today. and ladies and gentlemen, marion barry will always be alive in the district of columbia. [applause]
let me end by just saying on behalf of those who are up here, well done, m.b. we love you and appreciate everything you have done for all of us in this great city. [applause] >> bless you. ♪ >> a friend and brother. my dear sister cora. and christopher, the heart and soul of marion. former mayors, the mayor elect.
city council visuals. -- officials's. the family wishes to thank you. my daughter thank you, let's give her another hand, please. [applause] andrew jackie's daughter -- and to jackie's daughter. [applause] second timothy. i have finished my course, i have kept the faith. the crown of righteousness is to the righteous judge. who lord, the righteous judge.
that is the blue ribbon to the kingdom. i want to talk about the crowd of tools on marion said there is a cellsong that says that if you fight, you show where a robe and crown. i'm going to rarewear a crown. i will lay down my burden and wear a crown. for the crown to be authentic, it must have tools in it. marion was born in mississippi. a cotton plantation. 18 years before the brown decision. 19 years for.
eight years before the march on washington. august 28. before the little rock nine and the assassination. as a result of that struggle barack obama gave his acceptance speech in denver, august 28. marion was born in the fertile soil and the ugliness of the deep south. in the throes of a revolution that continues to reverberate today. he was nearly 38 years old before his family have the right to vote. how does one sum up the life journey of a man who went to amazing grace? i never thought i would live long enough to say farewell to this fellow traveler. i met marion in 1960. we shared stories.
we were so certain of victory that the risks we took, going to jail and the dogs biting, the horses, it did not seem to matter. after the greensboro for stood in, the revision the chair -- barry became the chair. we became friends and blood brothers in the struggle. we lived as if life was certain and death was uncertain. the fact that death was certain in life was uncertain, sometimes death comes suddenly and sometimes later but always certain. what are 50 your journey to gather -- on our 50 your journey together. after his passing i kept thinking, brother farrakhan about a baseball analogy.
a baseball game has nine innings for a regular. in the big leagues, there is always stiff competition. with the struggles he faced all of his life, the u.s. congress and the white house, to change laws and the eating habits of oppression, that is the big legal politics. the game is so tough that if you get three hits out of 10 at-bats, it is a to get to the hall of fame. babe ruth and reggie jackson were two of the great homerun hitters and yet they struck out a lot. whenever they can to the plate there were always expectations in the air. you had some commies like out some, you catch some balls and drop some. you are judged not by the catch or the dropped ball, you are by the box -- job by the box score -- judged by the box
score when it is all over. are you a winner or are you a loser? when the game is real tight, sometimes you play extra innings. some pitchers get knocked out early. some pictures have pitching relief. some games marion played extra innings. some players play with such enthusiasm they lift up others as they climb. the odds were against him in the game was a rainout. because storms and thunder and lightning, and the summer. neither clear skies nor rain stopped him. he knew in the heat you had to take the heat. he knew deep water does not drown you. you only drown when you to stop kicking. he never stopped takingkicking. malcolm x and dr. king were down here for 39 years. marion twice as long. he had his highs and lows. but like job his -- came upon him.
but he never lost faith. he went down, way down, but he got up because he knew something -- nothing was too hard for god. as job said, i know marie -- i know where my redeemer lives because he lives within my soul. throughough you slay me, yet i will trust you. he got up again because he knew the ground was no place for a champion. he did his best. his back was against the wall. he had three options. one, he could have adjusted and chosen the easy way. marion chose to remain maladjusted to oppression. two, he could've walked around for present and anger -- full of resentment and anger with no action. he could've become better. -- bitter. but he chose the third way to resist and run on. he never stopped running he never stopped serving. in the evening of it years at a slower pace of walking, but he never took the focus of the poor and those with their backs against the wall. that is why the people loved him.
and the lord kept blessing him. in this game jesus says the standards. the righteous judge for choosing those who made the all-star team. the standard is not perfection but dependability. you show up when the game is on the line. the jesus standard. the son of the righteous judge a fair referee. for when i was hungry, did you feed me and the least of these? when i was naked did you clothe the naked? when i was in prison, did you visit me? on this basis, you separate the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the chaff, the champions from the heroes. marion kept on getting reelected and the crowd stood in the rain to watch him go by because he was a hero more than a champion. a champion wins a contest. and they ride on the people shoulder. he knocked out someone. when champions win, they rise on people shoulder.
when the heroes win, the people ride their shoulders. the live the quality of their whole game. he was a hero. a freedom fighter. there are a select group of players who volunteered to sacrifice. risk their careers and risk their lives. walked away from fear for friends and hostile adversaries. a freedom fighter knows the stench of gjail cells. a freedom fighter looks at the whips and -- of terrorists. he gave up pursuing his phd for those ahead no d. their backs were against the wall. a freedom fighter. many pickup apples on trees that never should. a few are grateful but many are parasites. the wind blew the apples from the tree but few ever shake the tree. marion was a tree shaker. one of the architects of the new
south, the day dr. king gave his address in washington, the south was under military occupation. the reason the minister said do not stop talking about the dream. d.c. was under military occupation, lock down that day. troops had been ordered to be on guard at the train station. the bus station. the airport. a car did not have a tag of d.c., maryland or virginia they were stopped and profiled. the day he gave that speech from texas across to florida to southern maryland, we could not use the public toilet or rent a room at the holiday inn. we cannot buy ice cream at howard johnson. black soldiers and latinos set behind -- our money was counterfeited. against those odds, marion volunteered to be an unarmed soldier in the army for justice. he was not killed as was better evidence a -- as medgar evars and dr. king. and malcolm.
every soldier is a wounded soldier, but when the war is over, the unknown soldier had won the war. in the same south, the carolina panthers can play the falcons and the cowboys can play the dolphins and in the south, boeing can build their plants. he made the south's investment worthy and attractive. the basic and hold the olympics and the new south. i repeat, no southern governor or senator had his or her name of that new south. marion was one of the architects of the new south and the new america. based on the little rock nine. led by the greensboro four. led by a 26-year-old martin king. his chairman became marion barry. ralph abernathy, john lewis. julian bond, ivanhoe, donaldson. julius hobson. hilda mason.
stokley carmichael. brown. jim farmer. brendan jordan. eleanor holmes norton. wyatt t. walker. roger wilkins. james babel. marion barry. these of the soldiers that built the new south. dorothy heights. marion berry. his name was on the honor roll of freedom fighters. these are but a few of the honor roll of freedom fighters in the sacrificial service of the new south. no southern governor or public has his name on that list. but that was not enough. many started in 1960 and some stopped in 1965. they cashed in their pensions. but marion was a long distance runner.
the black in d.c. did not have much. when black congressman robert nixon, william donaldson, they could not get their hair cut in the capitol. when blacks in d.c. could only live in certain parts of town. they had never walked the carpets of city hall at any authority or served on commissions, airport and commerce. in d.c. marion helped emancipate washington and much of southern maryland and northern virginia all about the work of marion barry. [applause] marion never stopped fighting for d.c. statehood. 660,000 people living under occupation. he had to get a budget passed by people, by the congress with ignorant and hostile attitudes towards his people. congress governs d.c. without the consent of the governed.
marion never stop exposing the contradictions. from havana, cuba, to beijing, china, to moscow, the capitals representing the legislators but not washington, d.c. they pay the the highest taxes. our children are sent to jail more often than those in most states. as well as to serve and bleed in the military. we deserve more than taxation without representation. he never fought small battles he always had big dreams. marion was a builder. for the first, got legal contracts, accounting contracts. cable contracts, radio stations. tv stations, construction contracts. architectural contract. marion was a builder. sometimes i would laugh at him, because of what way he would speak. my name is marion barry. marion barry. we should not judge him for his eloquence but for his dependability and protection and service and love for the people. some of the mayors -- maynard jackson.