By Kristie Rodriguez, Senior
In a society dominated by white males, Eva Williams Mack defied several roles for African Americans, especially women of color, through her persistence and commitment in contributing to the West Palm Beach community --more specifically, her role in local government and education. From her inspiring actions to support efficient schooling and equal representation in law, Mack stands as an important figure who changed the state’s social progress for the better.
After moving from her home in Birmingham, Alabama, Mack gained several positions when she moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 1948. According to Sandra Hammerstein of The Palm Beach Post, she worked as a private nurse, assistant professor, and public administrator at the Palm Beach County Health Department. As a health specialist, one of the most influential contributions she made to the state of Florida was creating a family-life and substance abuse curriculum. To this day, her health classes are held and have been utilized in the school system since the 1970’s.
Moreover, according to the same source, Mack made it possible for all grade levels to hold these classes and even changed the policy of expelling pregnant students. Through her to the school system, Mack served as an important figure in the schools by providing students with important subjects that matter such as personal health and awareness in the dangers of drug abuse. Mack raised the significance of learning for everyone.
In addition to her contributions to education, Mack also defied others by becoming mayor of West Palm Beach, Florida. According to Palm Beach County History Online, she became mayor for two one-year terms in 1982 and became the first woman of color to take this position. Through this accomplishment, she not only gave way for African Americans to run for government elections, but also she inspired women to break gender norms that were set during that time period. Although she is not the first woman to be elected, she stands as the first woman with a diverse background to become mayor of West Palm Beach (“Eva WIlliams Mack”).
All in all, Eva Williams Mack, through her dedication and passion, painted herself as a self-proclaimed innovator that improved the school system. She also became a leader of local government by defining the role of women and minorities in the United States.
Because of her impact in education and politics, Florida has gained positive contributions to create social progression and should be remembered for her actions that have greatly impacted today and the future of society.
Hammerstein, Sandra. “Eva W. Mack: A Strong Lady Remembered”. The Palm Beach Post. 28 Jan 2013 Web 1 Mar 2017
“Eva WIlliams Mack”. Palm Beach County History Online. N. d. Web 1 Mar 2017
“Recalling Eva Mack: The first black mayor of West Palm Beach” Palmbeachpost.com 22 Mar 2012 Web 1 Mar 2017
Some things that I believe are worth knowing about me are that I love learning about unconventional concepts such as astrology, crystals, tarot cards, and lucid dreaming. I find a reason to expand on my writing every day, and I hope anyone that encounters my words leaves with something to integrate into their life!