Wife Of Stetson Kennedy Will Give Lecture About His Life And Work

Oct 30, 2015

by Staff

The life and times of the legendary Stetson Kennedy will be remembered by his wife, educator and writer Sandra Parks, in the next lecture in the Florida Lecture Series at Florida Southern College. 

The lecture, “Stetson Kennedy: Folklorist, Journalist, Activist,” is sponsored by the Lawton Chiles Center for Florida History at FSC and will take place at 7 p.m. Nov. 5 in the Hollis Room on campus. It is free and open to the public.

Kennedy (1916-2011) was a larger-than-life figure, working as a crusading journalist and human rights activist. He is best known for compiling folklore in the 1930s and his infiltration of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1950s. Throughout his life, Kennedy crossed paths with notable figures such as Zora Hurston, Woody Guthrie, Studs Terkel, and Erskine Caldwell, among others. Parks will discuss these subjects but also shed light on some of the lesser known exploits of this remarkable Floridian.

Parks earned her master’s degree in curriculum at the University of South Florida and completed advanced studies in education at Harvard. She serves as a curriculum and professional development consultant on teaching critical thinking, traveling annually to present workshops at universities and school districts across the country. She also is the owner of Anastasia Books and a former city commissioner in St. Augustine.

“Stetson Kennedy was one of the most colorful characters Florida has ever produced, and we’re fortunate to have Sandra Parks, who knew him best, come and talk about his life,” said Dr. James M. Denham, director of the Center for Florida History. “Everyone in the community, whether familiar with Kennedy or not, will be inspired by his story.”