Angelou, Height Defend Recreation Wish List

Organization headed by Barry's estranged wife faces eviction

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jemal Countess, Getty Images for AWRT
    Don't mess with Maya.

    WASHINGTON -- Poet Maya Angelou and activist Dorothy Height are the latest big names to join the fight against the Recreation Wish List's eviction from the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center, D.C. Wire reported.

    The city evicted the organization headed by Councilman Marion Barry's estranged wife, Cora Masters Barry, because it registered as a corporation, District Attorney General Peter Nickles told D.C. Wire earlier this month. When the organization signed a lease in 2006, it was not a registered corporation.

    The eviction notice has angered parents of children who use the program as well as national figures like Serena and Venus Williams.

    Now Angelou and Height are expressing concern about the eviction. Sources told D.C. Wire that Mayor Adrian Fenty canceled a Saturday meeting with them and may have canceled again on Monday. The Washington Post blog was awaiting a return call from the mayor's office Monday evening.

    Councilman Phil Mendelson has called for the city to back off, and Councilman Harry Thomas told D.C. Wire that the city may have underestimated the national reach Barry has established and that he will hold an oversight hearing.

    The center has earned accolades as both a quality place to learn and play tennis and a quality place to learn schoolwork, News4's Tom Sherwood reported.