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THE TIGER AND THE TORCH ebook

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THE TIGER SYMBOLIZES STRENGTH, SURVIVAL, AND TENACITY. THE TORCH SYMBOLIZES VISION, LEGACY, AND WISDOM. METAPHORICALLY SPEAKING The distinct symbolism in tigers and torches alludes to the essential balance between progress and history. The tiger represents the bold perspectives and vitality of youth. The torch represents the illumination of life experiences that come with age and maturity. Their roar represents the need to communicate and serves as a call to action to be more engaged in our communities. HISTORICALLY SPEAKING Part of the inspiration for our story comes from the history of Schaeffer Memorial Baptist Church and Christiansburg Institute (CI) in Christiansburg, VA. They epitomize what it means to be living and learning with local Black history. The year 2016 marked the 150 th anniversaries (sesquicentennials) of these local African American historic landmarks. While the Christiansburg Institute was open, the school mascot was a tiger. Today, the Christiansburg Institute Alumni Association uses a tiger in their logo. A green torch logo is used by Christiansburg Institute Incorporated to celebrate the school’s century of education in Montgomery County, VA, to commemorate its rich legacy and to honor the accomplishments made. PERSONALLY SPEAKING We are an atypical mother and daughter pair engaged in our community. We have lived, worked and volunteered together for many years. It’s funny because when we are out and about attending events, meetings or programs separately, one is inevitably asked about the other who is absent. We often have extensive conversations about all kinds of topics and have done so for decades. This was also the case for both of us as we were growing up with our immediate family. THE TIGER & THE TORCH Page | 9

1978 Holmes Family Photo (Pictured Left to Right): Back Row: Nathan Holmes, Verna Holmes, Zimri Holmes, Rosa Holmes and Glen Holmes Middle Row: David Irvin, Rita Irvin holding Davina Irvin, and Michele Clark Holmes Yet through all the meals and the quality time spent with them, we did not discuss how they arrived in the small town we call home and why they decided to stay. We also did not discuss the important roles that they had in our community. The same also held true about the places where we learned, worked and worshipped. Part of that stemmed from their purposeful silence deemed to be in our best interest and part of that stemmed from our delayed curiosity. Our people were teachers, cooks, chauffeurs, entrepreneurs and veterans. Our primary inspiration to write comes from them. Their lives were narrow gateways into the essence of knowing the immeasurable value of a strong family, formal and informal education and unwavering faith. It is through their consistency in their public and private lives, along with their practical and inspirational guidance that they established a firm foundation for us growing up that continues to remain rock solid today. THE TIGER & THE TORCH Page | 10