February 27, 2008
Spencer Wood and Tillery Resettlement Community Recognized
Press Contact: Gary R. Grant 252-826-2800
Tillery, NC – During The Awards Luncheon at the 10th National Black Land Loss Summit, NC Spencer Wood, PhD of Kansas State University was awarded the “A Man Called Matthew Award” presented by the Concerned Citizens of Tillery (CCT) and the Matthew and Florenza Moore Grant Decedents. The award named in honor of the late Matthew Grant (1918 – 2001), established by CCT in 1988, is awarded periodically to an outstanding individual who supports community based economic development through African American land retention, family farm sustainability, and the development of youth entrepreneurial leadership. While the award has been given eleven times in the twenty years of its existence, Wood is only the second college professor to receive the honor.
Spencer Wood, a native of Colorado, is a professor at Kansas State University. He is a member of the Concerned Citizens of Tillery (CCT) and a board member for the national Black Farmers & Agriculturalists Association (BFAA). Both BFAA and CCT sponsor the Black Land Loss Summits. He met Gary R. Grant in 1998 during the court hearings on the now historic Pigford vs. Glickman, USDA Secretary Class Action on behalf of Black farmers and has worked diligently on the issue of Black land loss with much vigor. He has helped to organize all ten Black Land Loss Summits and attended eight. He has worked on several significant research efforts, especially in establishing a Fund for a Rural America Center on Minority Land Security.
Also, Senator Ed Jones presented the Concerned Citizens of Tillery (CCT) a special recognition from the North Carolina Senate. The Certificate of Recognition was accepted by CCT Board Chair Gary R. Redding, and it read in part “upon the occasion of its 30th Anniversary and recognizes the group for co-hosting the 10th National Black Land Loss Summit.”
Sen. Jones also made Special Presentations of Recognitions to the five remaining original Resettlers of the Tillery Resettlement Farms of the 1930s and 40’s. Present for the presentations were Adell Edmonds Davis and Delores Harvey Amason, accepting for her father Leroy Harvey. All certificates were signed by Beverly E. Perdue, President of the Senate; Marc Basnight, President Pro Tempore of the Senate and Senator Edward Jones, 4th Senatorial District.
He has also written and been published on the decline of African-American farmers including "Who Owns the Land?: Agricultural Land Ownership by Race/Ethnicity" and "Returning African-American Farmers to the Land: Recent Trends and a Policy Rationale. " He has authored several other papers pertaining to historical efforts to combat Black Land Loss. Wood’s dissertation explores the importance of land ownership in Mileston, MS an African-American New Deal Resettlement Community in the Mississippi Delta. In particular, he explores how land ownership fostered civic growth contributing to Mileston's significant role in the Mississippi civil rights movement. Wood can be contacted at sdwood At ksu DOT edu.
Photo Caption 1- Spencer D. Wood, PhD Sociology smiles broadly with decedents of Matthew and Florenza Moore Grant after receiving the “A Man Called Matthew Award” during the 10th National Black Land Loss Summit. Left to right are: Gary R. Grant, President of the National Black Farmers & Agriculturalists Association (BFAA) and Executive Director of Concerned Citizens of Tillery (CCT); Dr. Wood; Evangeline Grant Redding Briley, Master Sky Cameron Myers (3rd generation descendent) and twins Gary Rudolph Redding and Haile Redding Myers (second generation decedents).