The National Black Feminist Organization was formed on this day in 1973 and was the brainchild of late Black feminist figures Florynce “Flo” Kennedy and Margaret Sloan-Hunter. The short-lived NBFO was the precursor to the widely connected Black feminist voices across social media today.
Kennedy, an attorney and activist, and Sloan-Hunter, an editor for Gloria Steinem’s Ms. magazine and feminist, formed the NBFO after realizing that the burgeoning feminist movement spearheaded by Steinem lacked the involvement of Black voices. According to written accounts, the NBFO’s formation came with some resistance from within but Kennedy’s fiery attitude and will moved the organization forward.
The NBFO was formed in Kennedy’s New York apartment and its first press conference was attended by Washington, D.C.’s Sen. Eleanor Holmes Norton, then the head and attorney for New York’s Human Rights Commission.
A portion of the NBFO’s Statement of Purpose reads as follows:
“Black women have suffered cruelly in this society from living the phenomenon of being Black and female, in a country that is both racist and sexist. There has been very little real examination of the damage it has caused on the lives and on the minds of Black women.
Because we live in a patriarchy, we have allowed a premium to be put on Black male suffering. No one of us would minimize the pain or hardship or the cruel and inhumane treatment experienced by the Black man. But history, past or present, rarely deals with the malicious abuse put upon the Black woman.”
The NBFO disbanded in 1976, with some national chapters remaining in operation until 1980.
Kennedy, who penned a biography, Color Me Flo: My Hard Life and Good Times, passed in 2000 at the age of 84.
PHOTO: Fair Use
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Little Known Black History Fact: National Black Feminist Organization was originally published on blackamericaweb.com