Lexington's First African-American Councilman Honored

Oct 26, 2012

Harry Sykes
Harry Sykes
Credit Kentucky Commission on Human Rights

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Lexington’s Urban County Council took time Thursday to honor one of its own. Harry Sykes, the city’s first African-American council member was recognized as an important voice for civil rights and for a distinguished career in public service.

Paula Brown, Sykes’ daughter, accepted the plaque on her father’s behalf Thursday night, wishing her dad, who is ill, could have been there in person. Mayor Jim Gray called the honor a “long time in the making.” Sykes was first elected to the council in 1963, then mayor pro-tem in 1967. He was also a founding member of the Lexington Fayette County Urban League and helped to bring Lexington together in a time of widespread racial tension.

"In the 58 years that Harry Sykes has lived in Lexington, He has done to much... to fill his history book and our history book," Mayor Gray said.

Gray also declared Thursday Harry Sykes Day in Lexington.