The documentary focusing on the story of Marion Barry airs tonight on HBO at 9pm “The 9 Lives Of Marion Barry.” I already saw a press screening of the movie, which really shows why the people of DC love their 4-term elected mayor so much and all the rehabilitation he did for the city before having to do rehab on himself. Prior to this, I knew Marion Barry from the surveillance footage (“the b@tch set me up!”) and from Chris Rock jokes, which are incorporated into the movie as well. As a matter of fact, Barry reveals that he was upset about the Chris Rock comedy special and had the opportunity to speak with him and address his feelings.
So make sure you have a chance to see the documentary, and you’ll walk away from it with a lot more understanding of a man who was more than just a drug-addled, womanizing politician and see someone who raised himself up out of poverty, created job programs for people who previously couldn’t get hired, and rebuilt downtown DC. Is he an unfair target, a hero, or a symbol of shame?
Below, hear Marion Barry speak in his own words. He definitely feels like the black race is more forgiving toward him, and explains where he started out and where he is now.
On Marion Barry’s motivation:
“I also try to work as hard as I can for the underdog, for the people who are poor public housing, ex-offenders, welfare recipients and others who have no voice except my voice has become their voice.”
On his current legal issues:
“The only issue that I know that’s mine solely is taxes. I didn’t file and I’m paying the price. they’re taking $30,000 a year out of my salary. But I’m willing to pay the price for that which I’m personally responsible for. I’m not willing to pay the price for what others do to me.”