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Sat Dec 23 07:15:15 MST 2000
NY Times, December 23, 2000
Flo Kennedy, Feminist, Civil Rights Advocate and Flamboyant Gadfly, Dies at 84
By DOUGLAS MARTIN
Florynce Kennedy, a lawyer and political activist whose flamboyant attire
and sometimes outrageous comments drew attention to her fierce struggle for
civil rights and feminism, died on Thursday in her Manhattan apartment. She
Known to everyone as Flo, recognizable everywhere in cowboy hat and pink
sunglasses, she was one of the first black women to graduate from Columbia
Law School, where she was admitted after threatening a discrimination suit.
She fought in the courts and on the streets for abortion rights,
represented Black Panthers, was a founding member of the National Women's
Political Caucus and led a mass urination by women protesting a lack of
women's restrooms at Harvard.
"If you found a cause for the downtrodden of somebody being abused
someplace, by God, Flo Kennedy would be there," former Mayor David N.
Dinkins of New York said yesterday.
People magazine in 1974 called her "the biggest, loudest and, indisputably,
the rudest mouth on the battleground where feminist activists and radical
politics join in mostly common cause."
Justice Emily Jane Goodman of New York State Supreme Court said Ms. Kennedy
gave women courage. "She showed a whole generation of us the right way to
live our lives," Justice Goodman said.
Friends like Gloria Steinem reveled in her razor-sharp wit. Ms. Steinem,
who lectured with Ms. Kennedy in the 1970's, said a man in the audience
would all too often stand up and demand, "Are you lesbians?"
Ms. Kennedy would respond that it depended. "Are you my alternative?" she
Ms. Steinem said by phone from Hawaii yesterday, "She understood what Emma
Goldman understood: there has to be laughter and fun at the revolution, or
it isn't a revolution."
Full obit at: http://www.nytimes.com/2000/12/23/national/23KENN.html
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