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Florynce "Flo" KennedyThe Life of a Black Feminist Radical$
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Sherie M. Randolph

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469623917

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469623917.001.0001

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Political in the Sense That We Never Took Any Shit

Political in the Sense That We Never Took Any Shit

Family and the Roots of Black Feminist Radicalism, 1916–1942

(p.10) 1 Political in the Sense That We Never Took Any Shit
Florynce "Flo" Kennedy

Sherie M. Randolph

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter is set in Kansas City, Missouri and Los Angeles, California and demonstrates how Flo Kennedy’s parents contributed to the formation of her black feminist radicalism. Her parents not only stood up for themselves and their daughters against racist white authorities but also held progressive views about personal autonomy and female sexuality. Kennedy’s mother allowed her to kiss boys on the front porch and to discuss taboo topics, such as the scents and sensations of a woman’s body. Both her mother and father actively defended themselves against entrenched forms of power and had numerous run-ins with the Ku Klux Klan, white employers, and black school officials. They taught Kennedy not to defer to any type of authority. The sexual freedom that Kennedy experienced and the battles with both black and white authorities that she witnessed helped her to embrace a black feminist politics and reject the politics of respectability and other social constraints that inhibited black women’s political activism and mobility.

Keywords:   Kansas City, Missouri, Los Angeles, California, Black family, Ku Klux Klan, Black feminist, Politics of respectability, Black women’s activism

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