Kennedy, Flo

Kennedy, (Florynce Rae) Flo

(1916–  ) lawyer, activist; born in Kansas City, Mo. After working at various odd jobs, she moved to New York City (1942), earned her B.A. at Columbia University, and then graduated from its law school (1951). Her New York practice included Billie Holiday (and her estate), Charlie Parker's estate, and H. Rap Brown, and she became increasingly disillusioned with the racism she saw in the justice system. Broadening her approach, in the 1960s and 1970s she spoke out forcefully in many forums on behalf of not only African-Americans but women, the poor, homosexuals, prostitutes, and minorities of all kinds. To fight racism in the media she founded the Media Workshop (1966) and she formed the Feminist Party when she grew impatient with the National Organization of Women. In the 1970s she became particularly active in promoting women's right to abortions. Noted for her often outrageous outspokenness, she published her autobiography, Color Me Flo (1976).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.