While stumping to keep his job a couple weeks back, Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry had this to say about the architectural firm that had been chosen to design the brand-new Ballou High School, which he’s touting as an example of his leadership:
I don’t like it, because it’s an all-white firm, but we’re going to deal with that. We want Ballou to be an example of local, disadvantaged business participation, because 99.9 percent of students at Ballou are African American, and I’m tired of these developers coming in and developing, say a school, and the majority of the money goes outside the city. We’re going to stop that.
Well, the contract went to a team of Georgetown-based Bowie Gridley Architects and West End-based Perkins+Will, which have nary a black face among their principals, and which have designed some of the whitest schools in the country, which means that Barry failed to “deal with it.” Now, watch him spin the choice as an example of his leadership in demanding nothing less than what Georgetown Day and the National Cathedral School got for the children of Ward 8.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons.