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NRCS State Office Hosts 2011 Black History Month Celebration


l-r: Wilson receives gift from Dansby for speaking at the meeting.

(l-r): Norbert Wilson receives a gift basket from Greg Dansby in appreciation of his participation in the Alabama NRCS State Office Black History Month presentation.

Auburn, Ala. – On February 23, 2011, personnel in the USDA-NRCS State Office in Auburn celebrated Black History Month.

Dr. William Puckett, State Conservationist, welcomed the group and talked about the contributions of past and present Alabama NRCS black employees.

Norbert Wilson, an Associate Professor of Agribusiness, Trade, Policy, and Curriculum Committee Coordinator at Auburn University, was the guest speaker.  He spoke about the 2011 theme of Black History Month – “African American’s and the Civil War.”

Wilson talked about the role of African Americans serving in the military during the Civil War and their feelings of being empowered by their time in the Union army.  He indicated that participation in the Civil War gave black veterans a feel for citizenship.  He said, “Emancipation as a result of the war changed the lives of former slaves as they hastened to take advantage of new opportunities made possible by freedom.”

During his presentation, Wilson mentioned that most African-American soldiers may have enjoyed more success during their lifetime due to their Civil War military service.

Other NRCS employees on the program were Sylvia Long, Khalia Giles, Gwen Lewis, and retiree Clifford Jones.

Greg Dansby, Black Special Emphasis Program Manager, presented Wilson with a gift from the Ala-Tom Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) gift shop for his participation in this year’s Black History Month celebration.

After the program, employees and guests enjoyed a home-cooked barbeque lunch sponsored by members of the Alabama Chapter of the National Organization of Professional Black NRCS Employees.