Cora Masters Barry on death of Dorothy Height
Cora Masters Barry, former first lady of the District, said Dorothy Height "was an integral part" of the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center since its beginning.
The civil and women's rights icon died this morning at 98.
Height attended a "Blacks in Wax" program at the center, a Ward 8 recreation center that provides District youths with tennis lessons, tutoring and other activities.
The event, where children dress up and act as important figures in black history, may have been Height's last public appearance, Barry said.
"I'm so grateful that the kids at the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center knew her," said Barry.
Last summer, the administration of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) unsuccessfully tried to evict Barry's nonprofit group, which runs the center's activities, from the building.
Height and poet Maya Angelou asked to meet with Fenty, who said he could not meet with them because of scheduling conflicts.
The slight became a hot political topic, spurring the D.C. Council to honor Height during the Congressional Black Caucus's annual conference in September.
The Fenty administration lost a court fight over the eviction and later relented, allowing Barry's nonprofit to remain.
-- Nikita Stewart
April 20, 2010; 9:05 AM ET
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