In a statement released on Monday, November 24th, Radio One Chairperson and Founder, Cathy Hughes said the following about the passing of Marion Barry:
“The Radio One Family is deeply saddened by the passing of our dear, Mayor for Life, Marion Barry. He was an incredible human-being, sent by God to empower and improve the lives of African-Americans; and his love and commitment to our community was unwavering. As a leader, his political savvy positively impacted the economic and social standing of black people in D.C. like no other.”
Ms. Hughes told Martin, “I just thank God, Roland, that we had the opportunity on October the 23rd to turn all of our D.C. radio stations over to the tens and tens and tens and hundreds of thousands of D.C. residents who were directly touched by Mayor Marion Barry and whose lives were totally changed, totally improved because of his commitment to his Blackness.
“He never forgot his commitment to the African American community and the fact that the government spent … $40 million to entrap this brother and it all had as the number one reason the fact that he believed in putting his community, his people, his commitment to the Black community first and foremost. And he was punished severely for that.” said Hughes.
Hughes said she believed Barry’s greatest strength was his commitment “to the empowerment of the Washington D.C. Black Community.”
“I lived here before that empowerment took place and the difference, pre-Marion Barry and after he came into power. That first administration, that first term that he put together was the finest example of Black leadership that the United States of America has ever seen,” said Hughes.
She added, “Every young person in the district could get a job. Every senior citizen was taken care of. He created the middle classlike none other in this entire country. The finest Black minds in this country came to Washington D.C. during his first term to work with him to turn this city around.”
“… all this that you see now in in Washington D.C. is the foundation that a man named Marion laid, and its so tragic that he is gone now.”
Liste to Radio One Chairperson and Founder, Ms. Cathy Hughes and “NewsOne Now” host Roland Martin discuss the legacy of Mayor Marion Barry.