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Time Runs Out For Another Black Farmer

DINWIDDIE, VA -- With the passing of William Calvin "Dick" Morgan, Jr., 81 years old (1929-2010) of Dinwiddie, Virginia, the National Black Farmers Association has lost a good friend and a local organizer who played an important role supporting the Black farmers civil rights movement.

The funeral for Mr. Morgan was held today at Mt. Olive Branch Baptist Church in Dinwiddie, VA.

At the request of the Morgan family, John W. Boyd, Jr. the founder and president of the National Black Farmers Association offered the eulogy.

NBFA's John Boyd released the following statement upon hearing the news of Mr. Morgan's passing:

"It is with tremendous sorrow that we relay news of the passing of Dick Morgan of Dinwiddie, Virginia. 

"At a critical moment in the Black farmers movement Mr. Morgan, who at times had faced difficulty accessing federal farm loans, stepped up and offered his farm as a meeting place for local Black farmers whose lives and work had been affected by discrimination from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And he became a part of our regional efforts and was committed to help take our larger national message to Washington, DC year after year.

"Mr. Morgan, a Korean War veteran who received the Purple Heart after being shot in combat in Korea, was an organizer for Dinwiddie who hosted local NBFA meetings and participated in numerous rallies on behalf of Black farmers in Washington, DC.

"Mr. Morgan was a devoted husband for 61 years and an active farmer for more than 50 years. Mr. Morgan was himself raised on the farm, and he and his wife, Ms. Doris L. Morgan, raised their five children on their farm. Mr. Morgan supported his family through his farm business as well as through his career working at Central State Hospital and later for 20 years at Brown and Williamson. Mr. Morgan's first experience with farming involved a mule and a plough. And with his hard work he purchased property and built a successful farm business that had dozens of acres, six tractors and other equipment. He took tremendous pride in his farm.

"Mr. Morgan was committed to seeing justice for the nation's Black farmers. He knew many of their personal stories and that knowledge impacted him in a way that drove him to continue to help within our movement even as he grew older and as it became more and more difficult.

"Mr. Morgan's passing underscores the urgency of immediate action by Congress or the Administration. By delaying, we're running out of time for the Black farmers. In his memory, we must continue our work and the Senate must do the right thing and pass the Black farmers settlement funding next month."


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