Celebrating Women’s History Month
Betty Mae Tiger Jumper is an inspirational woman who demonstrated character, courage, and commitment during her life. The picture book biography, She Sang Promise: The Story of Betty Mae Jumper, Seminole Tribal Leader, by author, Jan Godown Annino, describes her life as a member of the Seminole Tribe in Florida.
As a small child, Betty Mae learned tribal medicine, traditions, stories, and legends of the Florida Seminoles. When Betty Mae heard about reading, she pleaded with the Elders to send her to school. She was a quick learner and eventually went on to become a trained nurse. Returning home to the people she loved, Betty Mae convinced women to trust her new medicine and helped many suffering from diseases.
It seemed there was nothing Betty Mae couldn’t do. When her husband was sick and unable to work, she took over for him and wrestled alligators. When the U.S. government asked the Seminoles to organize a Tribal government to work with leaders in Washington D.C., she became the “voice for her people.” And when it came time to elect a Tribal leader, Betty Mae asked for votes. She was the first woman to be elected a leader of the Seminole Tribe in Florida. In a man’s world, Betty Mae Jumper sang promise to all. Throughout her life, she never forgot where she came from and continued to keep alive the stories and traditions of the Seminoles.
The illustrations by Lisa Desimini are in bright jeweled colors that depict time-honored aspects of the Seminoles. Like the title, She Sang Promise, this book is uplifting and serves as an inspiration to young girls and boys who have the character, courage, and commitment to succeed!