Eddie Boyd will be missed for his commitment to speak the truth

By Barbara Rodgers-Hendricks, Green Party of Florida

What do you do after you experience homelessness? Well, if you’re Eddie Boyd, you join Mitch Snyder and the Community for Creative Non-Violence, an advocacy organization for the homeless. And what do you do when you’re dying of cancer? From your deathbed, you talk about the Green Party with anyone who will listen.

Eddie Boyd, Jr. was born on August 24, 1961, in Miami, Florida. He joined the Navy soon after graduating high school. However, the Veteran’s Administration (VA) didn’t keep faith with Boyd. For years, Boyd suffered from leg pain, but he was never told by the VA Hospital that he had cancer. By the time he was admitted to the emergency room of Union Memorial Hospital, the cancer had spread to his lungs.  Boyd died on August 11, 2008, just shy of his 47th birthday.

Boyd was the Green Party candidate for governor of Maryland in 2006. He was the first African-American to run for governor of Maryland. His issues included promoting equity in funding for all Maryland schools and opposing the death penalty. He made news when he protested his exclusion from the gubernatorial debates sponsored by Maryland Public Television.

Boyd used his own experiences to help others. In Baltimore, after recovering from drug addiction, Boyd helped homeless veterans conquer their own addictions. He worked in the anti-war and counter-recruitment movements, sleeping in a ditch with Cindy Sheehan and other activists, near President Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, as they protested the invasion of Iraq.

Brandy Baker, a former Green Party candidate herself, considered Boyd as one of her best friends.  She said, “He was a compassionate soul.  He would give you the shirt off his back—and he didn’t have many shirts! Just a wonderful person!”