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THE TIGER AND THE TORCH look book

1978 Holmes Family Photo

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

Our story is infused with people, places and quotes that have spoken to us over the years by connecting our hearts and minds. It is a commentary that pulls together the past, the present and the future. It is a merger of our history, our beliefs, our knowledge, and our experiences. Nathan Holmes, one of our elders, said it best, “It’s the truth the way I see it.” 6 Traveling enabled us to make connections outside of our immediate circle of friends and family. It proved to be a significant component in the sharing of this story. We drove thousands of miles, attended multiple conferences, and visited many museums, parks, and other cultural sites. Virginia is rich with history and although our story is steeped in Christiansburg we also provide examples from other places in the state including Blacksburg, Charlottesville, Lynchburg and Richmond along with Washington, DC. Our desire for deeper knowledge and insight into the ongoing roles we have in growing and strengthening our Black community remains. As a community, it is impossible to shape a meaningful future with absolutely no wisdom and understanding of the past or relevance in the present. Let’s ROAR! Davina& Rita THE TIGER & THE TORCH Page | 11

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