CREATING LOCAL BLACK HISTORY: TUPELO NATIVE WANTS TO LEAVE LEGACY OF GIVING BACK

TUPELO • Virginia Frances Dowsing Toliver wants to leave a legacy of paying it forward by giving back.
Toliver has a long career as a community leader, activist, librarian and administrator. With each role she’s played, she sought to improve life for both herself and others.
That philosophy started in her native Palmetto community in Tupelo. When she learned years later, after thumbing through a library book, that Palmetto was considered the poorest community in Lee County, it shocked her.
“That’s not the Palmetto that I grew up in,” Toliver said.
It was a rural, farming community where many were sharecroppers, but she never felt poor because it was a nurturing community that raised everything they ate and shared.