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In Memory of Percy Ellis Sutton

Son of a slave, fighter pilot, attorney, activist, businessman, statesman, philanthropist. How often has Harlem’s loss been America’s loss? How often has Harlem’s hero been America’s hero? How often can one man be counted on to answer the bell the way Percy Sutton answered it? Brother Zachary Husser of New York wrote the following letter notifying us of Sutton’s promotion to Ancestor. Don’t be hesitant to share your thoughts & recollections on Brother Sutton.


Dear Family of Friends,

It is with a heavy heart and prayers of comfort to the Sutton Family that gives me inspiration to write this note about a “Man” I had the opportunity to listen to, mingle with, get advice from, and enjoy vacation moments with, when the spotlight for public opinion was off of him! Knowing Mr. Sutton from the various perspectives gives me the insight and foundation for this memory.

I truly was and am a believer in how Mr. Percy Ellis Sutton went about doing his business and the way he was very loyal to those individuals that worked to help him build a template political and business organization for the ages! Yes, Mr. Sutton was one of a kind, but his teaching will never follow him to the grave because thousands of today’s politicians, entrepreneurs, Chambers of Commerce, and just ordinary folk working on behalf of making things better for the Black Family will never forget the “Legacy” of Mr. Percy Ellis Sutton. As a matter of fact, Mr. Sutton’s “Legacy” lives through the lives of most of the Black Caucus Politicians in the United States of America. There’s one thing that separated Mr. Sutton from today’s politician, and that is with a few exceptions, those of today don’t have the courage to speak the truth like Mr. Sutton and many of his era colleagues.

The challenge then is to orchestrate the Sutton Legacy by becoming truth to power worker speakers in political arenas, in churches, on the streets, and in community based organizations that represent the needs and will of ordinary New Yorkers and folks who are in the class of not getting a part of the American dream pie. That’s what the “New” Change agents can do to make sure that Percy Ellis Sutton’s name and work for justice for Black people never dies!

In concluding, this is a short message to those of you who know and knew Mr. Percy Ellis Sutton. In collaboration with a few other writers, I’ll be coming back to you with a “Love” memory message about the life and times of Mr. Percy Ellis Sutton, the man that made dreams come true for thousands of Black Folks as he worked to become the best father, husband, advisor, and businessman that he could be!

In the interest of making sure the “legacy” of Percy Ellis Sutton never dies,

Mr. Zachary C. Husser, Sr.
The Family of Friends Network
1(917) 279-6751-cell

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3 Comments on "In Memory of Percy Ellis Sutton"

  1. CPeoples-Stokes | January 6, 2010 at 12:00 am | Reply


    Thanks for sharing information on the passing on of a Legend. Anyone aware of New York State Black politics has to both know of and honor the work of the Honorable Percy Sutton. As an EOP student I first heard of him through the work he and my predecessor A.O. Eve did to secure that opportunity for all. I am also well familiar with the three giants from Harlem Sutton, Paterson and Rangel.

    I attended a reception a 3-4 years ago at Rev Al Sharpton's National Action Network conference in NYC. Upon recognizing Mr. Sutton, I waited my turn to engage him in a one on one conversation. Even in his old age he was a striking man, with the statue of a King and very sharply dressed. I nervously introduced myself and he smiled as if he was glad to meet. I immediately relaxed, said he had heard a lot about me prior to me becoming the NYS Assemblymember representing the 141st. He acknowledged that having followed my career, watched my work and recognized both compassion and humility, he realized I was not who or what he had previously heard and or thought I was. Imagine that, the infamous great Percy Sutton being familiar with I was doing in Albany. The fact that he would say that, caused me to feel some kind of way, I almost teared up. However his fatherly smile and encouraging words made me smile. I could not thank him enough for reminding me to stay focused on getting things done which benefit the masses.

    The opportunity to meet this great man and get to spent quality time with him (probably only 8-10 mins) is one of the highlights of my political career. I am grateful for the experience.

  2. Amen. Percy Sutton was a true warrior. RIP.

  3. What a wonderful letter. I would like to read more about Mr. Sutton.

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