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Is celebrating our founders important?

Some founders not worth remembering

By Charly Gay
On September 26, 2019

A founder is a person who establishes an institution or settlement. It is important to have these founders because without them there would be no us. At the same time, however, who is to say one founded a place, when there are only “said” recollections of what actually happened. 

When we are taught in school about the discovery of the Americas, it is “all hail Christopher Columbus,” who in actuality was a dud who got his map mixed up and mistook one country for another. 

He isn’t a forefather, nor is he a discoverer, or founder. There were people here already — natives. The only stories we hear about the people who were here first is that they were victims of a brutal takeover, that they were weak. Maybe the Europeans were just too powerful. 

At universities, especially HBCUs, there is something called Founder’s Week. It is about five days, Monday thru Friday, with activities focused on the president himself as well as the founder of the school and those who made it great. At Grambling State University the focus would be on President Gallot Jr. and Charles P. Adams. 

Grambling was founded in 1901 by Adams. During the week of festivities at Grambling, there is a breakfast and a brunch held for the president, a convocation held on his behalf as well as bus tour rides to the gravesites of Adams and his family. 

Although there is a lot of talk about Charles P. Adams, no one brings up Robert Mercer Grambling, a white man who owned a sawmill that was managed by his cousin, P.G. Grambling. 

The town got its name because Grambling was how the railroad referred to the stop it made to pick up lumber from the sawmill. Although a major part of this city of Grambling’s history, he is not mentioned. 

When it comes to founders, it is a split decision on whether or not they are so important they need their own week.

 

Although there is a lot of talk about Charles P. Adams, no one brings up Robert Mercer Grambling, a white man who owned a sawmill that was managed by his cousin, P.G. Grambling.

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