Tuesday, August 30

STETSON KENNEDY, FLORIDA ACTIVIST AND AUTHOR, HAS DIED

Stetson Kennedy, folklorist, author, and civil rights activist, died Saturday. He was 94.

In a St. Petersburg Times obituary, Jeff Klinkenberg calls him, "Florida's Homer, a talking history book, a troublemaker, a scamp, a radical and a shameless promoter of everything Stetson."

He wrote the WPA guide to Florida during the Depression. After that came Palmetto County, which he called a "barefoot social history of Florida," and a novelized, muckraking investigation called I Rode with the Klu Klux Klan.

As an expatriate in France, he wrote Jim Crow Guide to the USA: The Laws, Customs and Etiquette Governing the Conduct of Nonwhites and other Minorities as Second-Class Citizens. 


Throughout his life he challenged conventions, built friendships across race and class divides, and stirred up trouble.


Late in life, he published Grits and Grunts: Folkloric Key West. 


A link to a career overview, recent media, and various obituaries can be found here. 


Photo from the St. Petersburg Times.