In Ward 8, vigil for Marion Barry moves from mourning to celebrating


Dana Hall, center, lights a candle during a vigil along Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE as people gathered to remember the life of former mayor Marion Barry on Nov. 23. Barry died early that same day. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

Though it could be days before an official memorial honors former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, impromptu gatherings in Anacostia brought hundreds of residents together Sunday evening to dance, sing, shout and pray.

A candlelight vigil began shortly after sunset Sunday at Anacostia’s Big Chair and picked up steam as it went along.

Teenagers leaned on the giant legs of the chair. Babies perched on their parents’ shoulders, peering over the group of Ward 8 residents, who loved Barry so much.

Vigil organizer Damian Bascom passed around a megaphone to speakers who ranged in age from recent college graduates to seniors who remember Barry’s rise to fame.

Hector Rodriguez, 72, was among a small group of Latino residents who yelled “Viva Marion Barry!” Rodriguez worked on Barry’s cabinet when he was mayor. But he also remembered meeting Barry when he “still had his Afro.”

The rest of this article can be found here as it appeared in the B section of The Washington Post.