If you’ve lived in the Sioux Falls area long or driven around the city, you’ve likely seen or heard the name Kenny Anderson.

That’s because of the legacy left behind by Kenny Anderson Sr., who was the first African-American to serve on the Sioux Falls City Commission. 

Many recognize the name on the sign of the park and the community center, but for Kenny Anderson Jr, his father Kenny Anderson Sr. was so much more. 

“He really cared about his city,” Anderson Jr. said. 

Anderson Sr. was raised along with seven siblings in Sioux Falls after his parents moved here around 1928. His parents made the move because they were told it was a great place for minorities to live if you work hard. That’s what Anderson Sr. certainly did. 

He served as the city’s first black City Commissioner for just one year before his death. Before he that he also on many committees and boards. Seeing what his father accomplished encouraged Anderson Jr to want to make a difference as well. 

“It’s what drove me. It was my passion. It still is my passion. This is my city also,” Anderson Jr. said.

Anderson Jr. says his dad did face some challenges growing up as an African American in Sioux Falls, including receiving threats when he was up for homecoming king during his senior year at Washington High School. Overall, he loved the city and believed Sioux Falls will continue to become more diverse as it grew. 

“Instead of fighting that diversity, we’ve accepted it. We’ve accepted those people who want to come here, who want to work hard, who want to become a member of the community and make that difference,” Anderson Jr. said. 

Anderson Jr. also served on the City Council from 2008 until 2016. He hopes that what he and his father have been able to do will push others into city government. He encourages anyone, no matter what background, to get involved. 

“I would encourage anybody whether they’d be immigrant or what would be called a minority, or just any citizen that wants to make an impact in our city to get involved. There are ways to do that,” Anderson Jr. said.

Continuing the legacy his father left behind. 

Anderson Jr also says his dad was a good athlete, including being inducted to the South Dakota Softball Hall of Fame.