Black Feminist Radical: Florynce “Flo” Kennedy – Sherie Randolph

Thursday, Feb 11, 2016 - Thursday, Feb 11, 2016 | 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Multicultural Community Center, MLK Jr. Student Union Building
Location is ADA accessible

The Center for Race Gender, African American Studies, The Black Room, and the Multicultural Community Center present…

Florynce “Flo” Kennedy: The Life of a Black Feminist Radical

Prof. Sherie M. Randolph, University of Michigan
Introduction by Prof. Ula Taylor, African American Studies

Thursday, February 11, 2016
Multicultural Community Center
MLK, Jr. Student Union Building, UC Berkeley

Often photographed in a cowboy hat with her middle finger held defiantly in the air, Florynce “Flo” Kennedy (1916–2000) left a vibrant legacy as a leader of the Black Power and feminist movements. In the first biography of Kennedy, Sherie M. Randolph traces the life and political influence of this strikingly bold and controversial radical activist. Rather than simply reacting to the predominantly white feminist movement, Kennedy brought the lessons of Black Power to white feminism and built bridges in the struggles against racism and sexism. Randolph narrates Kennedy’s progressive upbringing, her pathbreaking graduation from Columbia Law School, and her long career as a media-savvy activist, showing how Kennedy rose to founding roles in organizations such as the National Black Feminist Organization and the National Organization for Women, allying herself with both white and black activists such as Adam Clayton Powell, H. Rap Brown, Betty Friedan, and Shirley Chisholm.

Making use of an extensive and previously uncollected archive, Randolph demonstrates profound connections within the histories of the new left, civil rights, Black Power, and feminism, showing that black feminism was pivotal in shaping postwar U.S. liberation movements.

Sherie Randolph is an associate professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Randolph’s book Florynce “Flo” Kennedy: The Life of a Black Feminist Radical, published by the University of North Carolina Press (October 2015), examines the connections between the Black Power, civil rights, new left and feminist movements. The former Associate Director of the Women’s Research Resource Center at Spelman College has received several grants and fellowships for her work, most recently fellowships from Emory University’s James Weldon Johnson Center and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Randolph teaches courses on social movements, black feminist theory, gender, race and incarceration, Black Power, African American history, and women’s history. During the 2015-2016 academic year, she is the Ella Baker Visiting Associate Professor of Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her current project examines the history of African American women political exiles in Cuba.

Location is wheelchair accessible. Event is open to the public.
Books available for purchase from Eastwind Books. Light refreshments served.

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