This will hopefully be the last big one before the end of the year. It was bad enough that 2009 was filled with some significant passings throughout the entire year, but the Grim Reaper made sure to squeeze in as many as possible before the year came to a close. This cat was the latest.
Percy Sutton, the pioneering civil rights attorney who represented Malcolm X, passed away Saturday from causes yet to be released. He was 89-years-old.
I didn't recognize the name immediately but it did ring a bell with me. Not because the first name automatically reminds me of my favorite Bill Cosby/Sidney Poitier film either. Although that certainly didn't hurt. It was because I remember him being associated with defending Malcolm in some of his cases. Since Malcolm ended up serving less jail time than Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (after he found the Nation, of course) then Percy must have been good at his job.
Even after his days as an attorney, he went on to even more notable accomplishments. In 1971, with his brother Oliver Sutton, he purchased WLIB-AM, making it the first Black-owned radio station in New York City. More recently, when the Apollo was on the brink of demise, he purchased and renovated it to keep the landmark alive.
I was surprised to find out that he ran for the U.S. Senate and mayor of New York and both campaigns were unsuccessful. Are you serious? Dude was a famed civil rights attorney who happened to also be a former Tuskegee Airman. I'm sure he could have done just a good of a job as most of the jokers that held those offices. Probably better.
Rest in peace, Counselor.