Former Albany State University Student Activities Director C.W. Grant addresses students at Darton College Thursday during the school’s celebration of Black History Month.
ALBANY — Former Albany State University Student Activities Director and dean of students C.W. Grant, speaking to students as part of Darton College’s Black History Month celebration, was blunt and to the point.
“I wasn’t invited here because I was a vice president at Albany State,” Grant said. “I was invited because I am good, and that’s what you have to be also.”
Grant, 81, spent more than 30 years at ASU and was at the school during the early days of the Albany Civil Rights Movement. On Thursday, he shared what he had learned over that span to a packed room of Darton students.
“The Movement didn’t begin during the ’60s, it began long before that,” Grant said. “It was alive in the 1700s. It was alive in the 1800s. Brown v. Topeka (1954) is why many of you are sitting here today. I’ve seen all kinds of progress in my 81 years. Many blacks have made their marks in history. You’ve seen just a little bit of that.”
Grant then urged the students to leave their own marks.
“What is most important to me about Black History Month is that you are the next black history makers. And you need to understand what you need to do,” Grant said. “You need to learn to navigate the English language. English is the language of the marketplace. No computer in the world understands ebonics.
“Be a history maker. Put down that calculator. You should know what 12 x 12 is by now, and to be a history maker you also have to have a relationship with God.”
The retired educator advised the crowd to share with others what they had learned.
“The only commodity we as humans have that we can give away and still retain is knowledge,” Grant said. “Help somebody along the way. If the world is gonna be a better place, say to yourself, ‘If it’s to be, it’s up to me.’ ”
Grant closed by asking the students a question: “Remember, be a history maker. Who will your generation create?”