Talk of the Town - Let There Be Light May 25 2005

John T. Grant Jr. sheds some light on his home and personal philosophies

John T. Grant Jr. is a perpetually smiling businessman whose solace is found watching the Golf Channel in his basement sanctuary. Closed off from the rest of his three-story northwest Atlanta home, the room remains connected to the world with a row of tall windows placed accordion-style along one wall. Adding to his sun-friendly home are lengthy windows that encase the entire back wall of the main floor, granting views of the thickly forested back yard and the occasional train passing by.

Currently, Grant is executive director of 100 Black Men of Atlanta. He is working on adding 224 new students to the organization's Project Success, a post-secondary preparation program that partners with fourth and ninth-graders to provide them with mentors and financial assistance throughout college. Grant is also working with author Sheila P. Moses on a book about the organization's history.

Creative Loafing: What connects your home to your work?

Grant: I have pictures of all the people that I have met and worked with. I also have historical newspaper articles and pictures of the organization placed around the house.

Do you have anything from your adolescence in your home that remains important to you?

I have framed family photos and pictures from my childhood. My most cherished is one with me as a young boy sitting on my father's knee.

What is something you wish you knew when you were younger?

That every day is so valuable and important, because after that day is done, you can never get that day back. As children, we are always concerned with what we don't have, when we should look at what we do have and be thankful. So make sure they fill their days with meaningfulness.

What is your vision for them?

That they understand that no one a can take their power. We often give our power away, claiming that someone has taken it. God gave us power and he is the only one who can take it away.

What do people like most about your home?

People love the way everything flows together. There are no doors throughout the main floor and the decor in every room is themed the same, with objects and artwork from all over the world. Practically everything you see is from a different country.

What is your favorite room in the house?

My private room in the basement, which has a private entrance. My space is where I relax, think and watch golf. It is my getaway and that is very important in my life.

What is the best thing about the decor of your private room?

It has lots of windows like the rest of the house.

Windows seem to be your thing. Why?

I love light. It connects us with the source of all energy. An abundance of light affects spirit and attitude. After all, what did God say in the beginning?