Kenneth L. Janey

Photograph of Kenneth Janey

(Other Images Below)

Kenneth Lawrence Janey, son of Daniel and Clara (Johnson) Janey was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts in 1920 and was raised in Boston, where he attended high school. Kenneth worked as an apprentice at an upholstery shop before owning his own business in Boston called Janey's Upholstery, which he maintained into the 1960s.

Janey enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II, serving from June 15, 1942 until December 30, 1945 as a technical sergeant and took photographs for the Tuskegee Airmen. 

Janey married Daisy Thompson, with whom he raised four children. They moved to Blaisdell Road in Hingham in the 1950s.  While living in Hingham, Janey fought to gain equality for black citizens like himself. He was an active member of the Hingham Freedom Movement, serving for a time as its president.  The Hingham Freedom Movement focused on educating residents about black history and the civil rights movement as well as on improving the lives of African-Americans in eastern Massachusetts. 

Janey was also one of the founders of the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, Inc. (METCO).  Keenly aware of the de facto segregation in the Boston Public Schools, Janey and METCO worked toward busing inner-city students to suburban schools, including to Hingham.  In 1967 Janey asked the Hingham Public Schools to participate in the program, and by 1969, there were sixteen METCO students attending school in the town.

In the 1970s, Janey dedicated himself to working for Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), an organization striving to help individuals and families overcome poverty.  Founded in 1961, ABCD ran several school programs and owned multiple neighborhood resource centers.  Janey worked as a job trainer for unemployed, low-income individuals and managed several of the organization's Neighborhood Employment Centers. He eventually became the director of all job training programs, and remained with ABCD until the early 1980s.

Many quotes and writings from Janey express a desire for peace and his hope that all citizens would participate in making the world a better place.  He and his family marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. in Roxbury and attended multiple conferences on equality. 

He remained in Hingham until his death on November 21, 1982.