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Richard Rogers’ letter to the editor (The Mail, 7/18) is typical of some gentrified residents who move into African-American communities and downplay the effective leadership of African-Americans like Leroy Thorpe. The fact is Leroy Thorpe and Beth Solomon have done more than Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans, Shaw churches, and perpetrating Shaw activists to educate the Shaw community residents regarding the adversities of the MCI Center and proposed Washington Convention Center.

Moreover, it appears that Rogers’ familiarity with Thorpe is limited—particularly since he lives in Mount Vernon Square. Perhaps if he lived in the Shaw community he would know that Thorpe has represented the Shaw community for 10 years as one of its most effective and tireless advisory neighborhood commissioners.

Furthermore, it was Leroy Thorpe who took Jack Evans around Shaw and introduced Jack to me in my store when he first ran for D.C. Council. Rogers may want to contact Thorpe on the adversity of the Washington Convention Center, and it wouldn’t hurt for him to tour Shaw.

Owner, Variety Market

Shaw