The presentation of history is often separated. There is white American history. There is African-American history. There is Seminole history. The women I chose for his book are women of all colors because often they worked together about large community issues. In fact, I think it was because of their blended work, that very important historic breakthroughs occurred. Therefore, the women I selected were likely to have been the ﬁrst in their particular endeavor. That meant they often were in the forefront of a larger wave of history that surrounded them. Trail-blazers. The most fun I have with history is when I can connect the dots. Large movements or events usually culminate after many little early steps occur earlier. While often one thinks that a powerful event develops overnight, that is partially so. Early baby steps, repeated over and over again many times have led to that big act. Since women's history is often hidden or obscured, its history suggests a route to locate some of those early preliminary, almost rehearsal steps that led to the ﬁnal big ﬁnale. To dig out women's history is hard work. But even that is fun because it becomes as close to detective work as that shown on television programs. It is not unusual to ﬁnd that the women who made some of those early steps were still unknown. Annie Reed is one example of a woman who was virtually unknown in either the white or black community. Lorna Simpson and Stella Taylor were two others. I revised the legendary story of Frank Stranahan who sold the property on which Dillard School was built for one dollar. Those dots had not been connected before and when I connected them, a larger, different picture suddenly unfolded. Exciting. In 20th century America the struggle for individual freedoms regardless of color, gender, and sexual orientation transformed our society and culture. Often these efforts gained credence through federal intervention and legislation. Men and women alike shared the ﬁght. Witness the end of the 41 years of Seminole Wars, the arrival of the railroad, the Seminole acquisition of their reservation, the color transformation of Fort Lauderdale's public school system and other public places, the preservation movement, WWII, the efforts for women's vote and rights, and the transformation of Fort Lauderdale into the Venice of America. In all of these changes, women of all colors left their marks. They were "Too Hot to Hide". The stories about each of these women could easily have ﬁlled a book about each of them. Actually, I have not done them all of what they deserve with only the short written versions of their lives. Their passion for excellence in whatever part of life they embraced especially shows in the "Women's Firsts" Roll I created. These women showed a particular talent for ﬁnding and deﬁning themselves in their contributions to the place they lived in-Fort Lauderdale. My father taught me a belief. He said, "There is no one right way to do anything. The task is to ﬁnd your way and do it." Each of these women showed how to do it and will forever serve as an inspiration for each of us women to ﬁnd our own way in this life in Fort Lauderdale. That is empowerment.
|Title||:||Too Hot to Hide: Remarkable Women of Fort Lauderdale|