New York, NY, November 4, 2005 … Percy Sutton, the former Manhattan borough president, attorney, businessman and longtime civil rights and human rights activist, was honored today by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) with its prestigious American Heritage Award for a lifetime of achievement in promoting Black-Jewish relations.
"Percy Sutton is a man of consummate courage and tenacity, an amazingly talented politician in the best sense of that word," Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said in presenting the award during the League's National Commission Meeting in New York City.
"He is technically retired, but Percy will not and cannot really retire," Mr. Foxman added. "He continues to share his talent, expertise and wisdom in politics, business and communication. And he remains one of the great inspirations to all the people of New York."
In accepting the award, Mr. Sutton thanked ADL for the honor, saying it capped a lifetime of work in promoting inter-ethnic, inter-racial and inter-religious understanding. "I am highly honored because I know the work that the ADL has done. I know the work, the entirety of the activities you have done, and I like it.
"If I have tried to do anything in my lifetime, it has been to stand up for my rights and for other people's rights," Mr. Sutton said, citing the common experience of Blacks and Jews fighting for equal rights in this country.
"No people had been as injured in humanity's recording as Jews had been," he said. "So when there were problems in Israel, I was going to Israel, and I was organizing Blacks in America to support Israel."
Mr. Sutton is an attorney, businessman, high technology communications expert and civil rights and intercultural/interethnic human rights activist. Mr. Sutton has long been a leader in promoting Black-Jewish relations. Among his achievements in that arena, he led a delegation of New Yorkers to the Second Brussels Conference on Soviet Jewry and actively advocated for Soviet Jews to emigrate. He is a strong supporter of the state of Israel.
ADL's American Heritage Award is a Baccarat crystal eagle, the quintessential symbol of American freedom and of our American heritage.