Stetson Kennedy 101: "Living a Life of Purpose"

Published Jimmy - Thu, 09/21/2017 - 4:38pm

Famous Florida folklorist, human rights organizer, and environmentalist Stetson Kennedy would have turned 101 years old on
October 5th.

One day before on October 4th, the Civic Media Center and the Writer's Alliance of Gainesville will host a celebration of his life featuring music, cake, a sale of his books and most importantly, a power-point presentation by Sandra Parks, the woman he shared the last years of his busy life with and the director of the Stetson Kennedy Foundation (SKF).

"Living a Life of Purpose" covers 80 years of activism, from organizing against anti-Semitism as a 14 year old to marching with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in their fight for higher wages as a 94 year old. In between those years Stetson infiltrated the KKK and engaged in other organizing and journalistic endeavors in support of the Black freedom movement, wrote and published seven books, innumerable articles, was awarded many speaking engagements, and cultivated friendships with Woody Guthrie, Studs Terkel and Jean Paul Sartre, and countless others.

The CMC has a special relationship with Stetson as he donated over 2,000 books from his personal library to the CMC's collection, where they are available for checkout from our library with a donation-based membership.

This celebration of Stetson's life and work will feature a birthday cake and other refreshments.

Musical entertainment for the evening will be provided by Stetson Kennedy's longtime friend, singer-songwriter, co-founder of the UF Arts in Medicine program, and winner of SKF's Fellow Man and Mother Earth award, Cathy DeWitt, whose own birthday happens to be October 4th.

This event is co-sponsored by the Stetson Kennedy Foundation ( and the Writers Alliance of Gainesville (


The event starts at 7pm at the CMC, 433 S. Main St., with parking along SE 5th Ave, across the street on S.Main St, or
up at the Courthouse.

Free, donations appreciated
Wed, 10/04/2017 - 8:00pm
Free, donations appreciated