Fenty flags Angelou letter in Southeast rec center controversy
Months later, Mayor Adrian Fenty is still being dogged by questions about why he did not meet with poet Maya Angelou and civil rights leader Dorothy Height. But this time, the mayor is pointing to fresh evidence that there were no hard feelings between the parties, citing a letter from the famous poet.
The latest questions came last week in an interview with NewsChannel 8's Bruce DePuyt, who said that even the mayor's allies were puzzled about why he did not meet with the two women.
Angelou and Height, who died last month at 98, had tried to make peace between the mayor and former first lady Cora Masters Barry when the city tried to evict her non-profit from a District-operated recreation center. At the time, Fenty said he was unable to coordinate his schedule with the two.
When asked about it last week, Fenty said in the TV interview, "I don't usually get into the who, what, where, why and when about meeting with people. I think it's disrespectful to their own personal privacy."
But Fenty said it was "a very regrettable thing that people were trying to get into why these people weren't being paid attention to when in fact we were talking to them and were trying to meet with them," he said, praising Height as a "fantastic world citizen."
Fenty also mentioned the letter from Angelou.
In the September missive, Angelou writes, "I know that my name has been used in varying ways, but while I am a friend of Mrs. Cora Masters Barry, and a supporter of her great efforts, I in no way meant to be a threat or a negative figure to you in this matter."
"I want you to know that I have not spoken to the press and it was never my intent to bogart or jam you against a wall."
May 17, 2010; 1:35 PM ET
Categories: 2010 District Election , Ann E. Marimow , Mayor Fenty | Tags: Adrian Fenty, Dorothy Height, Maya Angelou
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