In Memoriam

Margaret Buckner Young (1921-2009)

Margaret Buckner Young, author, educator, and widow of civil rights leader Whitney Young, has died in Denver at the age of 89.

Young was a native of Campbellsville, Kentucky. She met her husband while both were students at Kentucky State University. She later earned a master’s degree in educational psychology and testing from the University of Minnesota.

In 1954 she was appointed professor of educational psychology at Spelman College in Atlanta. She wrote several children’s books on African-American history and served on the board of directors of corporations and cultural institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Lincoln Center, both in New York City.

Lawrence Neale Jones (1921-2009)

Lawrence Neale Jones, dean emeritus of the Howard University School of Divinity, has died at the age of 88. He served as head of the divinity school at Howard from 1975 to 1991.

An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, Dr. Jones also served as dean of students, dean of faculty, and acting president of Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York.

Dr. Jones held degrees from the University of Chicago, the Oberlin Graduate School of Theology, and Yale University. In 2007, when Jones was 86 years old, he published the book African Americans and the Christian Churches, 1619-1860.

Percy Ellis Sutton (1920-2009)

Percy Sutton, attorney, civil rights leader, Tuskegee Airman, businessman, and one of the major African-American political figures in New York City, has died at the age of 89.

Sutton was the fifteenth child of a man who was born a slave just prior to the Civil War. But Percy Sutton and his 11 siblings that survived to adulthood all went to college. Sutton attended Prairie View A&M University, Tuskegee Institute, and Hampton University but never earned a bachelor’s degree. After serving as a Tuskegee Airman during World War II, he earned a law degree at the Brooklyn Law School in New York.

Sutton opened a law practice in Harlem in 1953. He was the attorney of Malcolm X for over a decade. In 1965 Sutton was elected to the state legislature. He also served as Manhattan Borough president from 1966 to 1977. Sutton ran unsuccessfully for mayor of New York and for the U.S. Senate but remained a political power broker in Harlem all his life.

At one time Sutton owned the Amsterdam News, one of the nation’s largest black newspapers. In 1971 he bought a small radio station in New York City and built a media conglomerate with highly ranked radio stations throughout the United States. He later bought and renovated the Harlem landmark, the Apollo Theater.