Valerie Gray Holmes wins Women in American History Award 2015

On Monday, Nov 1, members of the Williamsburg Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, gathered at the DeWitt Wallace Art Museum to present Valerie Gray Holmes (living history interpreter) with the prestigious Women in American History Award for 2015. Mrs. Holmes won the award for her very effective work in helping the many visitors from around the world develop a better understanding of the lives of African American women, throughout our history, both free and enslaved.

Elizabeth Greaf, co-chair, American History Committee, read the 100-word bio that was the foundation of the award. "Valerie Gray Holmes portrays African American women, some enslaved and some free during various periods of the history of our country, particularly during the Colonial period in and near Colonial Williamsburg. She creates roles with the mission to portray with dignity, the complexity of life of enslaved and free African American women. Her characters rise above being enslaved or free and exhibit determination, courage and faith, despite individual bondage and fracturing of their families, to ensure that their families and communities survive and thrive. These characters illustrate the strength of African American women, their love of country, community and family."

Virginia Snyder Lee, regent, recognized Ms. Holmes after her performance "To Be an American" with a certificate, medal for outstanding history and a bouquet of flowers. The attendees, about 125, were extremely pleased to witness this presentation; most coming on stage to congratulate Valerie and have their picture taken with her.

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