Garth is one of the most versatile people I know, but it’s his humbleness that shines the most. When we worked together in different organizations or just shooting the breeze Garth was cool to be around. Always available to lend a helping hand, and was on of the few that I knew that if something was need or requested, if it was in his hands to do, it would be done. It is a continued honor to call him friend.
1. Before the protest were you actively involved in social/political/civil organizations?
Yes. I was a member of Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity, The Organization of Afro-American Unity, and the NAACP during that time.
2. Why did you decide to participate? Did you stay the course? If not why?
I feel that it’s important to stand up to what you believe in. The Fraternity taught me about being a leader and making an impact in the community. I was lucky enough to work with some outstanding people such as Eric Johnson, Darren W. Carter, Stan Gordon, Sonya M. Payne, Wanda Coleman and my fellow OAAU peeps: Tariq, Eric Williams and Will Pruitt. Seeing them in action has help defined my skills as a student leader as well. Also, I stay the course until the end.
3. Was the protest what you expected?
This was the first time I have been involved in a protest. It taught me a great deal about being able to stand up and fight for what you believe in. It was more than I ever expected.
4. What was your high and low point during the sit-in?
The High point of the event was seeing the entire CSU African-American student population united together for a common cause. It was truly a great moment to see such a bonding. The low point was the effort wasn’t enough to keep Dr. Wimbush.
5. After the sit-in did you become or continue to be active in social/political/civic organizations? What bout present day?
After the sit-in, I continued to be involved with the Fraternity as well as the NAACP on campus. I was Chapter President of the CSU-NAACP during the 1994-1995 academic year. Later on, I was involved with Black Student Union. As of this writing, I have graduated from CSU in spring 2011. I’m currently involved with the Cuyahoga County Young Democrats as part of the membership committee.
6. What lessons, if any, did you learn during the sit-in? How has that affected you the past 20 years with personal/career/family, etc?
It’s being able to draw up a proper plan of action, effectively gathered up many support as possible and then go on the offensive. It’s not that difficult if you really believe in bringing attention to a matter that needs to be corrected. Plus, being able to do in a peaceful manner is also a major key in having a successful protest. Having to see the many changes at Cleveland State during the last few years has been gratifying. Even though it’s not perfect, it’s better than it was 20 years ago. The Sit-In has made me more politically and socially aware.
7. You were a part of little known history. How do you preserve the memory of your participation of the protest in present day?
I just continued to stay involved and make a difference in the community. Not just CSU but the greater Cleveland area as well. That’s the best way to preserve the memory of the important event in Cleveland State’s History.