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THE TIGER AND THE TORCH ebook

ROAR! “LIFE IS ONE BIG

ROAR! “LIFE IS ONE BIG ROAD WITH LOTS OF SIGNS. S O WHEN YOU RIDING THROUGH THE RUTS, DON'T COMPLICATE YOUR MIND. FLEE FROM HATE, MISCHIEF AND JEALOUSY. D ON'T BURY YOUR THOUGHTS, PUT YOUR VISION TO REALITY. WAKE UP AND LIVE! BOB MARLEY 24 Historic signs are only created when it has been proven that something or someone has made a significant contribution to our history. According to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, “Virginia's historical marker program is the oldest such program in the nation, beginning in 1927 when a handful of markers were erected along U.S. 1 between Richmond and Mount Vernon.” 25 A search of their database in May of 2016 yielded seventeen results for highway markers in Montgomery County. Of these, there is only one for an African American institution and it is in Christiansburg, VA. According to the National Register of Historic Places, Montgomery County, VA, has about seventy designated historic spots maintained by the National Park Service. 26 Of them, only a handful have a direct connection to the African American experience. ROAR! TALKING ABOUT PROGRESS IS CHEAP, IF THERE IS NO VISIBLE EVIDENCE OF SUCH. LOOK FOR PROGRESS YOU CAN SEE, HEAR, AND FEEL WHEN IT COMES TO INVESTING TIME AND MONEY IN YOUR COMMUNITY. When it comes to our history, many of the people and places are no longer around to let us know about what happened during their time. Because of organizations such as the National Park Service and historical highway marker programs, it is easier to discover our shared history through featured key landmarks. Each record of progress started with a purpose, which is still a foundational component for accomplishing things of value today; however, when things are not getting done it is often a result of an absence of a clear purpose. Yet, with the right leadership in charge, things that are seemingly impossible can become possible. ROAR! “PROGRESS IS THE ATTRACTION THAT MOVES HUMANITY” MARCUS GARVEY 27 THE TIGER & THE TORCH Page | 31

LEADERSHIP: FROM A DISTANCE Image Credit: Booker T. Washington’s Own Story of His Life & Work 28 One of Christiansburg Institute’s famous leaders was Booker T. Washington. For about 20 years 29 he served as superintendent of the school. During that time, most of his instructions were followed without him being in Virginia. When he was not traveling throughout the United States and other parts of the world, he wrote and worked from Tuskegee, AL. The Montgomery Museum & Lewis Miller Regional Art Center in Christiansburg, VA, mentions him coming to the town a few times during his administration. 30 One of those trips was for the dedication of the Baily Morris Hall. It was through his leadership that the necessary funds were raised for one of the largest structures built on the CI campus. Another example of Booker T. Washington’s leadership skills in action occurred during a brickmaking experiment at Tuskegee. Those early and seemingly futile efforts ultimately turned into a source of revenue that helped fund other campus projects. The account of, The Original Tuskegee Brick tells the story. The making of a good leader is a similar process. Leadership can be difficult and often requires multiple attempts for success to be achieved. Leaders often have to make personal sacrifices and tough decisions often need to be made but they often prove to be for the common good of many. THE TIGER & THE TORCH Page | 32

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