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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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I Was the Force of Them

I Was the Force of Them

Leading the Women’s Liberation Movement, 1968–1969

(p.152) 7 I Was the Force of Them
Florynce "Flo" Kennedy

Sherie M. Randolph

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter looks at Flo Kennedy’s activities as a leader of the burgeoning women’s liberation movement. Her actions as a lawyer, fundraiser, and organizer in the Black Power movement enhanced her contribution to the feminist movement. Kennedy’s work not only drew on the parallels she saw between Black Power and feminism but was aimed at creating an expansive radical coalition to challenge the intersections of oppression. Kennedy’s inspiration and organizing skills were central to the important early demonstrations, such as the Miss America protest in Atlantic City, which drew new participants to the women’s movement. Kennedy was a media savant who critiqued both sexism and racism in the press and on TV, particularly concerning how media outlets inculcated sexism and political passivity. She understood how press coverage might broaden a movement’s reach and attract more members. As Kennedy later told an interviewer, she was “the force of them.” The force that was Flo galvanized protest actions and inspired participation. She expanded the movement’s base, found supportive movement allies, and carried out actions that gained traction in the media.

Keywords:   Black Power, Women’s liberation movement/Women’s movement, Coalition, Movement allies, Media savant, Miss America protest, Feminist, Racism, Sexism, Demonstrations

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