Lecture focuses on new mindset toward the minority experience


Jordyn Dollarhide - The State Hornet

Micah Grant, a Natomas Unified School District trustee, speaks at a Carter G. Woodson lecture in the Orchard Suite at Sacramento State on Feb. 20, 2018. Grant showcased his personal experiences both professionally and personally in order to promote a positive outlook on the double-conscious mind.

Jordyn Dollarhide

The Cooper-Woodson College Enhancement Program (CWC) hosted a lecture Tuesday centered on the idea that minorities in the professional world can use double consciousness — the experience of seeing oneself as a minority in a repressive society — to their advantage.

Micah Grant, a native of South Los Angeles and a Natomas Unified School District trustee, said that his double-conscious mind has helped him succeed and that others can, too, if they tap into their experiences.

Grant said that in his case, double consciousness is the “experience of reconciling one’s black heritage in a European-dominated society.” Grant, who said he is one of the “only elected Republicans within the city limits of Sacramento,” believes that while double consciousness is often a negative experience, it can also be used for good.

“Believe me when I say that I wouldn’t have been able to do all of these things unless I embraced my double consciousness as a gift rather than a curse,” Grant said. “Double consciousness is a privilege.”

Educational technology graduate student Brittney LeBlue said that people look up to Grant as a community leader because he has been able to turn negatives into positives.

“(Grant) has accomplished so much by learning how to absorb adversity and use it to strengthen his double conscientiousness,” LeBlue said. “By building his resilience to life’s resistance, he still continues to set new goals and conquer new challenges. This as a whole is what motivates me the most to pursue my own professional aspirations.”

Grant said that double consciousness allows him to speak “two languages,” each with special ways of catering to specific audiences.

“No matter your party affiliation the language can be very tough and disheartening,” Grant said. “Rather than being offended, I used my language skills to bridge gaps.

“Because you had (to handle) the pressure of being different, when you interact with someone who has similar experiences or none at all, you appear more genuine. … That’s because it is genuine — can’t be faked, can’t be taught.”

Andrea Moore, a professor in the ethnic studies department, hopes that Grant’s lecture will resonate with minorities who attend Sacramento State.

“I feel it’s important for students to understand the concept of double consciousness,” Moore said. “I’m hoping that students who identify as minority will understand that Sac State considers itself to be a minority-serving institution.”

One student asked a question that had the entire room murmuring in agreement: Why run as a Republican?

“I’m a limited-government conservative,” Grant said. “Big government isn’t the government trying to help people fallen on hard times. Big government is taking the power out of your hands. I found a home with libertarians and Republicans that, when I reached out to them, believe the same thing. I find it easier to communicate that platform with the GOP.”