Today we have made a short video about Florynce Flo Kennedy. Her main field of activism and work was fight with racism, both through protests and her work as a lawyer - only the second African-American woman to graduate from Columbia Law School. Respect! After passing the New York Bar in 1952, Kennedy worked as a clerk in a law firm in Manhattan, then opened her own private practice in 1954.
She believed in intersectional feminism and this is what she is most famous for. Plus her rude and provocative language, cowboy hat and pink glasses.
For us and #reproductiverights movement, what’s important to remember is that without her - it would not be Roe v. Wade. She was not the lawyer in this case, but her work as a lawyer made Roe v. Wade possible. Kennedy was one of the lawyers in the Abramowicz v. Lefkowitz case, the class action suit that wanted to repeal New York's strict abortion laws. This case was one of the first to use women who suffered from illegal abortions as expert witnesses instead of relying on physicians. These tactics were eventually used in the Roe v. Wade case, in 1973, which overturned restrictive abortion laws.
In 1971, Kennedy co-authored with Diane Schulder a book on the class action suit, Abortion Rap, one of the first books on abortion.
As we mentioned few weeks ago, she is also known for one of the most famous quotes on abortion, which is… not hers… ;) “If men could be pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.” Some sources say it was Gloria Steinem, and Steinem claimed that she and Kennedy were driving a cab and these words were actually said by the old female cab driver.
Florynce Kennedy once described herself, and the society, with these words: “I'm just a loud-mouthed middle-aged colored lady with a fused spine and three feet of intestines missing and a lot of people think I'm crazy. Maybe you do too, but I never stop to wonder why I'm not like other people. The mystery to me is why more people aren't like me”. Very good question.