Dream City: Race, Power, and the Decline of Washington, D.C., written by long-time journalists Harry Jaffe and Tom Sherwood, examines the complicated mayoral tenure of civil rights activist and drug abuser Marion Barry during the 1980s to mid-1990s. The book, originally published in 1994, was recently released as an e-book and includes a new afterword on what’s changed in the District in the last 20 years. Teachers and students came out this month to participate in a book discussion hosted by the Center for Inspired Teaching, where they engaged with the authors and shared their own classroom experiences around Dream City.
Bill Stevens, a history teacher at the SEED School in southeast DC, said Barry’s rule struck a personal chord with some of his students. "One of my students realized his relative's first job was with Marion Barry," said Stevens. His students were all the more engaged in class during Dream City discussions, he added, as they discovered their own historical connections to the city.