Sunday, December 27, 2009

Percy Sutton Personified An Individual That Followed Their Passion

I enjoyed reading the article I have posted below about Mr. Percy Sutton. Not well known by my generation, but someone worth reading about even after he has passed away at the age of 89. He probably had so many great stories to tell for those that would listen. The lesson in this for me is to learn more about those that affected history. Also, to take the time to speak with our elderly about the lives that they led. You never know what you may learn. As my husband would say, Mr. Sutton is now a library of knowledge gone on to heaven. Let's take advantage of those around us that are a library full of knowledege.

Please take a moment to read about the life of Percy Sutton

Percy Sutton, the pioneering civil rights attorney who represented Malcolm X before launching successful careers as a political power broker and media mogul, has died. He was 89.

Marissa Shorenstein, a spokeswoman for Gov. David Paterson, confirmed that Sutton died Saturday. She did not know the cause. His daughter, Cheryl Sutton, declined to comment Saturday when reached by phone at her New York City home.

The son of a slave, Percy Sutton became a fixture on 125th Street in Harlem after moving to New York City following his service with the famed Tuskegee Airmen in World War II. His Harlem law office, founded in 1953, represented Malcolm X and the slain activist's family for decades.

The consummate politician, Sutton served in the New York State Assembly before taking over as Manhattan borough president in 1966, becoming the highest-ranking black elected official in the state.

Sutton also mounted unsuccessful campaigns for the U.S. Senate and mayor of New York, and served as political mentor for the Rev. Jesse Jackson's two presidential races. Jackson recalled Sutton talking about electing a black president as early as 1972. Sutton was influential in getting his 1984 campaign going, he said. "He never stopped building bridges and laying the groundwork," Jackson said Sunday. "We are very glad to be the beneficiaries of his work."

In a statement released Saturday night, Gov. David Paterson called Sutton a mentor and "one of New York's and this nation's most influential African-American leaders."
"Percy was fiercely loyal, compassionate and a truly kind soul," Paterson said. "He will be missed but his legacy lives on through the next generations of African-Americans he inspired to pursue and fulfill their own dreams and ambitions."

In 1971, with his brother Oliver, Sutton purchased WLIB-AM, making it the first black-owned radio station in New York City. His Inner City Broadcasting Corp. eventually picked up WBLS-FM, which reigned for years as New York's top-rated radio station, before buying stations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit and San Antonio between 1978-85.

The Texas purchase marked a homecoming for the suave and sophisticated Sutton, born in San Antonio on Nov. 24, 1920, the youngest of 15 children.

Among Sutton's other endeavors was his purchase and renovation of the famed Apollo Theater when the Harlem landmark's demise appeared imminent.

Sutton's father, Samuel, was born into slavery just before the Civil War. The elder Sutton became principal at a segregated San Antonio high school, and he made education a family priority: All 12 of his surviving children attended college.

When he was 13, Percy Sutton endured a traumatic experience that drove him inexorably into the fight for racial equality. A police officer approached Sutton as the teen handed out NAACP pamphlets. "N-----, what are you doing out of your neighborhood?" he asked before beating the youth.

When World War II arrived, Sutton's enlistment attempts were rebuffed by Southern white recruiters. The young man went to New York, where he was accepted and joined the Tuskegee Airmen.

After the war, Sutton earned a law degree in New York while working as a post office clerk and a subway conductor. He served again as an Air Force intelligence officer during the Korean War before returning to Harlem in 1953 and establishing his law office with brother Oliver and a third partner, George Covington.

In addition to representing Malcolm X for a decade until his 1965 assassination, the Sutton firm handled the cases of more than 200 defendants arrested in the South during the 1963-64 civil rights marches. Sutton was also elected to two terms as president of the New York office of the NAACP.

After Malcolm's assassination, Sutton worked as lawyer for Malcolm's widow, Betty Shabazz. He represented her grandson, 12-year-old Malcolm Shabazz, when the youth was accused of setting a 1997 fire that caused her death.

Sutton was elected to the state Legislature in 1965, and quickly emerged as spokesman for its 13 black members. His charisma and eloquence led to his selection as Manhattan borough president in 1966, completing the term of Constance Baker Motley, who was appointed federal judge.

Two years later, Sutton announced a run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Jacob Javits, although he pulled out of the Democratic primary to back Paul O'Dwyer.

Sutton remained in his Manhattan job through 1977, the same year he launched a doomed campaign for mayor that ended with Edward I. Koch defeating six competitors for the Democratic nomination.

Sutton was among the first voices raised against the Vietnam War, surrendering his delegate's seat at the 1968 Democratic convention in protest and supporting anti-war candidate George McGovern four years later against incumbent President Richard Nixon.

In addition to his radio holdings, Sutton also headed a group that owned The Amsterdam News, the second largest black weekly newspaper in the country. The paper was later sold.
Sutton's devotion to Harlem and its people was rarely more evident than when he spent $250,000 to purchase the shuttered Apollo Theater in 1981. The Apollo turned 70 in 2004, a milestone that was unthinkable until Sutton stepped in to save the landmark.

Sutton "retired" in 1991, but his work as an adviser, mentor and confidante to politicians and businessmen never abated. He was among a group of American businessmen selected during the Clinton administration to attend meetings with the Group of Seven (G-7) Nations in 1995-96.

"He was a great man," said Charles Warfield Jr., the president and chief operating officer of ICBC Broadcast Holdings Inc., when reached early Sunday. He declined to comment further out of respect for the wishes of Sutton's family.

The Rev. Al Sharpton said he last visited Sutton in a nursing home Wednesday. He recalled meeting Sutton for the first time at age 12; Four years later, Sutton paid for his trip to a national black political convention because the teenage Sharpton couldn't afford to go.

"He personified the black experience of the 20th century," Sharpton said. "He started the century where blacks were victims. We ended as victors."


Article written By CRISTIAN SALAZAR, Associated Press Writer

Associated Press writers Jennifer Peltz in New York and Michelle L. Johnson in Chicago contributed to this report.
This article can also be found by clicking here.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Enjoy the Moments of the Holiday’s

The holidays can be a stressful time of the year. The gifts, the food, the travel, the family (good or bad) can all take its toll on our stress level. My advice, given to me by my 9 year old daughter, is just to enjoy the moments. When she came downstairs and looked around, I thought she was just daydreaming and sleepy (because it was extremely early). She quickly told me that she was just happy, thankful, and enjoying the moment. It was as if she was taking a mental picture of the room filled with things that she loved.

The magic of Christmas is what happens when a child’s face lights up when they see what Santa Clause has left for them under the tree. It is also all of the good that people display helping other people to have a Merry Christmas.

The holiday season is meant to be a time to reflect, relax, and decompress from the year. Use the holiday season as it should be used. Enjoy the moments!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stay Hungary. Stay Foolish.

In the words of Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer, “Your time is limited so do not waste time living someone else’s life.”

There is so much that many of us want to experience out of life, but we do not take the time to make it happen. We do not follow our heart, we do not go with our gut, and against our better judgment we do not step out on faith. The reality of life does not always make that possible, but we need to work on eliminating the excuses of why we are not leading the life we would like to lead.

One thing I know for sure is that life as we know it does come to an end. We have no idea when our time is up. The only thing that we can do is live each day to the fullest.

Several years back Steve Jobs did a commencement speech at Stanford University to about 5000 students. Take a few minutes to read the speech and let me know what you think…..

Do What You Love Commencement Speech
By: Steve Jobs

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Finding Balance

Is it just me or do our lives seem busier now then when we were growing up. It seemed like there were more hours in the day then there are now. I know that this is not true, but it is hard to find that much needed balance. Family, work, personal time, spiritual well being do not come easy. In order to fit all of these elements in our daily lives, we must plan, schedule, keep some sort of calendar, and plan all over again....

I think there is a lot of power in saying the word 'No.' There are times when we just take on too many task (especially women) that we want to accomplish in a short time frame. Sometimes we need to take just two steps back in order to move mega leaps forward.
Many of us feel guilty for having to say 'No,' but we shouldn't. In order to live a life of purpose and a life that you are passionate about, you must first be willing to find balance.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Personal Style

What is your personal style? Are you conveying the style that you would like to convey?

If the answer to this question is no, then what are you going to do about it. Let 2009 be the year that you tweak your style. If you feel that you are destined to be a CEO, then look the part! If you feel that you should be a politician, a doctor, even a what you have to do create a sophisticated style into the realm that you want to be in. When your style reflects your mindset, you have no where to go but up. You are your own brand and no one can position yourself better then you can. No one is stopping you but you!

Make it a great day!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

We Are Living In An Amazing Time

President and Mrs. Obama have set an excellent example for being great parents. Parenting and the improvement of parenting skills must become the top priority of all parents. My husband has set an extraordinary tone for our household to be better parents then our parents. Not to say our parents were bad, but you should always want to strive to learn from others and improve where you can. In this age of video games, amazing technology, and the Internet, there are so many ways that children can get distracted. It is time for parents to grab hold and accept our responsibilities of raising the best children and future citizens of this world that we live in.

So here is to parents that have made the decision to become better parents!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Change Has Come To America....Do You Feel It???

A new day is coming and it is so hard to believe. President-Elect Barack Obama will be able to drop the 'Elect' word from his title. The 'Busheys' are leaving the building and I can not wait. Martin Luther King is probably looking down smiling on what is about to happen. As we rejoice in this day, we also have to think about what it is we need to do to make this world a better place. Obama can not do it alone and he has asked all to help. What are you going to do?? How are you going to step up to the plate and make a difference in the life of someone else??

There are many times when we are worrying about the smallest problems in our own lives, when there are people in much worse situations then we are in at that moment. It is time to LIVE LIFE!!! It is as simple as those two words.......just LIVE LIFE!!

We do not know when our time here on this Earth will expire, but we must make the best of the time we have before it does expire. There is a wonderful quote that says, 'For To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Expected!' You are expected to do your part. When you do this, your blessings will come without you having to search for them.

You are blessed!!! Now, be a blessing to someone else!!!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Setting Your Vision - Don't be afraid to RECALCULATE!

We have all heard the saying.....You can achieve it if you can see it! What do you see in your future. Take some time to put together a 'colorful' image of your future. Vision boards are extremely popular and there is no time like the present to create one. Simply get some poster board and an old magazine. Cut out where you see yourself in the future. It is best to set some immediate goals along with some long term goals.

While doing this, think about how you are going to get to that point. If you set a vision that you truly want to achieve, then you tend to keep moving towards that goal. If you have no vision, you have no place to aim at in the future. It is hard to map out your route if you do not know where you want to go. Even the new GPS navigation systems can not provide you any help without knowing an end point. It is amazing how quick it will tell you how to get back on track if you get off. I think the lesson is that it is OK to get off track as long as you keep your end goal in mind, you will have the ability to make any necessary adjustments to get back on track. As the GPS would say ........RECALCULATING!