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.
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Mae Kramer Silver has been writing local history for more than two decades. She began writing in San Francisco when she discovered the land her house sat on was part of a Mexican rancho. Before she wrote about her neighborhood, she discovered a story about historic Trolley 130 which had been saved for demolition by a “guardian angel” who worked in the public railway system. Her neighborhood history stretched into stories about all the current neighborhoods that were previously in Rancho San Miguel. Turning to the world of women’s history, she wrote The Sixth Star which chronicled the two campaigns the suffragists mounted in California to secure a state constitutional amendment that gave them the right to vote. In between these books, she wrote many articles for journals and newspapers. Mae also is a community organizer. She founded her neighborhood association first called Twin Peaks East, now renamed Corbett Street Neighbors. She sat on the founding board of the San Francisco Historical Society, now called the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society. She served as president of the San Francisco History Association, vice-president of the National Council of Jewish Women and was appointed by Superintendent Cortines as chair of the Library Media Committee of the San Francisco School district. As parliamentarian, she served the San Francisco Coalition of Neighborhoods. When she returned to her home state of New Jersey in 2003, she settled in Bordentown, New Jersey in order to tap into her roots and to write about the famous Thomas Paine who lived intermittently in Bordentown during the Revolutionary times. There she founded the Thomas Paine Society of Bordentown, Inc. and created a monthly walk “In the Footsteps of Thomas Paine”. That tour became a book with the name In His Footsteps: Finding Thomas Paine in Bordentown, New Jersey. In addition, she wrote Messenger to the World for the New Jersey Press Foundation publication to all the New Jersey newspapers. She also wrote a keepsake for the Thomas Paine Society called Thomas Paine’s Christmas Bridge. To explore the beauty of Bordentown’s outside wrought iron ornamentation, she wrote Iron Lace. In 2008, when she moved to Fort Lauderdale, she continued to write local history and produced Watch Out, Ivy. Too Hot to Hide is an offshoot of her women’s history walk with the same name that she has done once a month. Too Hot to Hide is Mae’s ninth book.
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Book Description Ord Street Press, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0966991362