Marion Barry: Reporters, Eddie Murphy, Spike Lee Are Exploiting Me
While Marion Barry's would-be successors in Ward 8 fight over who will succeed him, Barry is working on his legacy. Barry took to the radio waves this afternoon to denounce the unflattering Barry-era book Dream City and the HBO movie associated with it—and, along the way, promote his own autobiography.
"Tom Sherwood and Harry Jaffe are trying to exploit me, and I’m tired of being exploited," Barry said of the 20-year-old book's authors on WAMU's The Kojo Nnamdi Show. "The citizens are tired of being exploited by them."
Much of Barry's appearance centered on his unhappiness that Dream City, a book about an African-American mayor and a majority African-American city, was written by two white men.
“Why should I let two white men exploit a black man?" Barry said.
Still, skin color isn't the only mark of whether someone is "exploiting" Barry. Director Spike Lee and actor Eddie Murphy, both of whom have been attached to the HBO project, also made the list of Barry legacy exploiters. Reporter Jonetta Rose Barras' own Barry book, The Last of the Black Emperors, was even worse than Dream City, according to Barry.
Barry added that Dream City was filled with "misinformation," but declined to offer examples.
Readers looking for Barry's seal of approval on books about his administration have one option: his own book, Mayor for Life, due out on June 17. Barry tells LL that he's planning a tour of the New York City talk show circuit next month to promote it.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery