Holmes, Aunt Lou -- Edgefield, SC

The dear lady in this photo was Aunt Lou Holmes. She was born into slavery but remained with our family after Emancipation. There was a great deal of respect and love between the family and the former slaves associated with our family. Aunt Lou is pictured with my great uncle Joseph Adams Timmons (1900-1977) when he was about 4 years old; photo was made in 1904. I have often heard that my grandmother (whom I never knew since she died before I was born; my now 91-year-old Mother has told me the stories many times) would go to Aunt Lou if she was frightened (by a thunderstorm, for example) rather than her own mother. This was not unusual. In good families, the blacks were treated with respect, dignity, and love.

Aunt Lou's portrait hangs in my home with the other beloved family portraits and photos. In my family, as in some others, the slaves (later on, former slaves) were cherished and respected. They were, and remain, a very vital part of our family.

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