Emily Jane Goodman on Florynce Kennedy

“She felt she had not only a right but a duty to stand up against oppression.”

Florynce Kennedy was an outspoken feminist attorney, a Black Power activist and a daring human rights organizer who built alliances between oppressed groups that didn’t normally intersect. Flo Kennedy was “intersectional” long before the term was used. And she did it with great personality and flair. Judge Emily Jane Goodman tells the story of her charismatic friend who compelled many changes in laws and culture over the course of her long life, always using her voice and life force to organize people in the name of moving society toward fairness.


Emily Jane Goodman


After three decades on the bench Judge Goodman has returned to practicing law and freelance journalism in New York. “It was a treat and an honor to participate in this piece on the great Flo Kennedy. She was a mentor, an inspiration, a genius, and unparalleled Friend.”

Featured Woman

Florynce Kennedy

American civil rights attorney, political activist, and pioneer in second-wave feminism, Florynce Kennedy was an outspoken advocate for liberal causes. In her cowboy hat, pants, and pink sunglasses, Kennedy gained a reputation as a flamboyant activist who stood up to authority and did not care what people said about her. Only the second African-American woman to graduate from Columbia Law School, Kennedy fought for the rights of Black Panther members and African-American singers discriminated against by music companies. Disgusted by the racism in the courts, Kennedy turned her energy to activism, fighting for women’s liberation, abortion rights, civil rights, and consumer protection.