"Back Down Memory Lane": Lawrence E. Kennon
By Dr. Gloria Latimore-Peace
Presented by Omni-University
Attorney Lawrence E.Kennon with Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans at a National Bar Association "Gertrude Rush Conference".
The photo above invokes "back in the day" memories of a treasured friend, Atty. Lawrence E Kennon. Among my recollections are the innumerable candid conversations that we shared. As members of "The Chicago League of Negro Voters", an independent political organization, we were engaged in independent political activism.Thus, our conversations, both inside and outside the organization, were centered on justice and equality.
In 1959, The CLNV launched the campaign of Ancestor Atty. Lemuel E Bentley, the first "Negro" candidate ever to run for a city-wide office in Chicago- the office of City Clerk. Although our candidate garnered more votes than the Republican candidate, we were unable to defeat the Democratic "machine" at that time. However, we remained steadfast and in 1983, with the support of "Negro" and other voters of conscience, as well as a record number of groups including "The Lawyers Committee for Harold Washington for Mayor"
(of which Atty. Kennon was Co-Chair) we succeeded in electing Chicago's first Black mayor: Ancestor Harold Washington.
Of the many person-to-person conversations that "Larry" Kennon and I had over the 60 plus years of of our friendship, the one in which he reminisced about the Kennon family, is the most memorable. During its course, I learned not only what is was like "growing up Kennon" but, I also heard anecdotes about the "real models" who influenced Lawrence's development: his parents, their siblings and his own brothers and sisters.
Often you will hear stories of how a great man or woman has risen to greatness from "humble beginnings". This was not the case for Lawrence nor has it been the case for our people whose earthly beginning was in Africa, the richest continent on the planet.
We recognize the truth of Ancestor Malcolm's wisdom when he said, "If a cat gives birth to kittens in an oven, you don't call them biscuits." We have come to realize that the "oven" metaphor applies to almost anywhere we live outside of our original Homeland -including Chicago's West and South Side neighborhoods where Larry and I both lived. The fact that so many of our people emerged from these crucibles "As whole human beings Unwarped in a world of biased laws and inhuman practices"1 is testimony to the adage that "you can't keep a good man [or woman] down."
As Ancestor Lawrence E. Kennon recounts his "beginnings", in "Family Matters", we get a glimpse of the Ancestral DNA, the spiritual connection, and the family nurture that, without a doubt, enabled him to become who he was destined to be because of- rather than in spite of- his "beginnings".
Ancestor Atty. Lawrence E. Kennon VISITATION SERVICE Monday, September 28, 2020 4PM-6PM Leak & Sons 7838 S. Cottage Grove, Chicago.
You are invited to watch "Family Matters", featuring Ancestor Atty. Lawrence E. Kennon on The H30 Art of Life television Show.
Blognote: Ancestor Dr. Margaret T. G. Burroughs, "What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black...?"