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Flo Kennedy: "The Feminist Party Street Walks"

Flo Kennedy seated at "Outreach Women" TV Program
Lane, Bettye. Flo Kennedy at "Outreach Women" TV Program, 1976 Feb 1. Bettye Lane Photographs. Hollis #: olvwork747221

Lawyer and radical activist Florynce "Flo" Kennedy (1916–2000) fought discrimination in the courtroom and on the streets.

Kennedy represented Black musicians fighting for control of their music, the Black Panthers, and radical feminist Valerie Solanas, and was involved with several cases against New York’s restrictive abortion laws. Outside of the courtroom, Kennedy used her flamboyant personal style and theatrical flair to stage public actions protesting racism and sexism. Dissatisfied with the more liberal politics of mainstream women's organizations such as NOW, Kennedy founded the Feminist Party in 1971 and cofounded the National Black Feminist Organization in 1973.

"The Feminist Party Street Walks" shows several Feminist Party actions, or "street walks," in New York City—beginning with one outside the New York Times office, protesting a lack of coverage of Shirley Chisholm's 1972 presidential campaign. Another clip shows Feminist Party members in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral. Kennedy and the Feminist Party were opposed to the Catholic Church’s involvement in abortion politics. Activists in the street walks sing popular songs with rewritten, humorous lyrics, and many include profanities.

Special note: This video contains language some viewers may consider offensive (several instances of f*ck and s*it).

View video: "The Feminist Party Street Walks"

For research tips and additional resources, view the Hear Black Women's Voices research guide.

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