Manning Marable in 2007.
May 13, 1950|
Dayton, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||April 1, 2011
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||Earlham College, University of Wisconsin, University of Maryland|
William Manning Marable (May 13, 1950 – April 1, 2011) was an American professor of public affairs, history and African-American Studies at Columbia University. Marable founded and directed the Institute for Research in African-American Studies. Marable authored several texts and was active in progressive political causes. At the time of his death, Marable had completed a biography of human rights activist Malcolm X entitled Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention (2011), for which he won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for History.
Life and career
Marable was born in Dayton, Ohio. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Earlham College (1971) and went on to earn his master's degree (1972) and Ph.D. (1976) in history, at University of Wisconsin, and University of Maryland. Marable served on the faculty of Tuskegee Institute, University of San Francisco, Cornell University, Fisk University, served as the founding director of the Africana and Hispanic Studies Program at Colgate University, Purdue University, Ohio State University, and University of Colorado at Boulder, where he was chairman of the Department of Black Studies. He founded the Institute for Research in African-American Studies (1993) at Columbia University, later appointed as the M. Moran Weston and Black Alumni Council Professor of African-American Studies and professor of history and public affairs.
Marable served as Chair of Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS). Marable served on the Board of Directors for the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN), a non-profit coalition of public figures working to utilize hip-hop as an agent for social change. Marable was also a member of the New York Legislature's Amistad Commission, created to review state curriculum regarding the slave trade.
Populist Afrocentrism was the perfect social theory for the upwardly mobile black petty bourgeoisie. It gave them a sense of ethnic superiority and cultural originality, without requiring the hard, critical study of historical realities. It provided a philosophical blueprint to avoid concrete struggle within the real world.... It was, in short, only the latest theoretical construct of a politics of racial identity, a world-view designed to discuss the world but never really to change it.
— Manning Marable, Beyond Black and White: Transforming African American Politics
It was reported in June 2004 by activist group Racism Watch that Marable had called for immediate action to be taken to end the U.S. military's use of Raphael Patai's book The Arab Mind which Marable described as "a book full of racially charged stereotypes and generalizations." In a 2008 column, Marable endorsed Senator Barack Obama's bid for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.
Marable, who was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, underwent a double lung transplant as treatment in summer 2010. Marable died of complications from pneumonia on April 1, 2011 in New York City at the age of 60.
He is survived by his wife, Dr. Leith Mullings of New York; three children, Joshua Manning Marable of Boulder; Malaika Marable Serrano of Silver Spring, Md.; and Sojourner Marable Grimmett of Atlanta; two stepchildren, Alia Tyner of Manhattan and Michael Tyner of Brooklyn; a sister, Madonna Marable of Dayton; and three grandchildren. He is also survived by his two previous wives, with whom he shared parts and aspects of his career.
Malcolm X biography
Marable's biography of Malcolm X concluded that Malcolm X exaggerated his early criminal career, and engaged in a homosexual relationship with a white businessman. He also concluded that some of the killers of Malcolm X are still alive and were never charged.
Critics of the biography also contend that the focus on Marable's discussion of Malcolm's potential same sex relationships, about three sentences long in a 592-page book, overlooks more important political statements Marable makes about Malcolm's underlying lifelong commitment to revolutionary Pan Africanism.
Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention was nominated for the National Book Award, and The New York Times ranked it among the 10 Best Books of 2011. It was one of three nominees for the inaugural Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction (2012) presented by the American Library Association for the best adult non-fiction. It was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for History in 2012.
- How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America (1983) ISBN 978-0-89608-165-9
- Race, Reform and Rebellion (1991) ISBN 978-0-87805-493-0
- Beyond Black and White (1995) ISBN 978-1-85984-049-8
- Speaking Truth to Power: Essays on Race, Resistance, and Radicalism (1996) ISBN 978-0-8133-8828-1
- Black Liberation in Conservative America (1997) ISBN 978-0-89608-559-6
- Black Leadership (1998) ISBN 978-0-231-10746-4
- Let Nobody Turn Us Around (2000) ISBN 978-0-8476-9930-8
- Freedom: A Photographic History of the African American Struggle (with Leith Mullings and Sophie Spencer-Wood, 2002) ISBN 978-0-7148-4270-7
- The Great Wells of Democracy: The Meaning of Race in American Life (2003) ISBN 978-0-465-04394-1
- W. E. B. DuBois: Black Radical Democrat (2005) ISBN 978-1-59451-019-9
- The Autobiography of Medgar Evers (2005, with Myrlie Evers-Williams) ISBN 0-465-02177-8
- Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention (2011) ISBN 978-0-670-02220-5
- Living Black History: How Reimagining the African-American Past Can Remake America's Racial Future (2011) ISBN 9780465043958
- The Portable Malcolm X Reader (2013, with Garrett Felber) ISBN 978-0-14-310694-4
- Grimes, William. Manning Marable, Historian and Social Critic, Dies at 60. New York Times (April 1, 2011). Retrieved April 2, 2011
- Goodman, Amy. Manning Marable on "Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention" via Democracy Now! (May 21, 2007). Retrieved April 2, 2011
- "The late Manning Marable wins history Pulitzer; no fiction prize given". The Washington Post. Associated Press. April 16, 2012. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
- Good, Thomas. MDS Conference Elects Manning Marable Chair of MDS, Inc. Next Left Notes (February 20, 2007).
- Hip-Hop Summit Action Network Board of Directors.
- Bryant, Erica. City schools want better curriculum on Africa. Democrat and Chronicle (December 29, 2008)
- Manning Marable, Beyond Black and White: Transforming African American Politics, p. 192
- Glick, Ted. 2004 Racism Watch Calls for Action to End Use of Anti-Arab Books by the U.S. Government. via PCDC (June 2, 2004)
- Marable, Manning. Cover Story: Barack Obama's Problem - And Ours - Along the Color Line. Black Commentator (March 6, 2008)
- Kellogg, Carolyn. Malcolm X biographer Manning Marable has died. Los Angeles Times (April 1, 2011)
- Rohter, Larry. Manning Marable, African-American Studies Scholar, Has Died at 60. New York Times (April 1, 2011)
- Manning Marable's 'Reinvention' Of Malcolm X, All Things Considered, April 5, 2011
- Boyd, Herb et al. (2012). By Any Means Necessary. Chicago: Third World Press. pp. 142–148. ISBN 9780883783368.
- "2011 National Book Award Finalist, Nonfiction". National Book Foundation. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
- "10 Best Books of 2011". The New York Times. November 30, 2011.
- Neal Wyatt (May 21, 2012). "Wyatt’s World: The Carnegie Medals Short List". Library Journal. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
- Hond, Paul (Summer 2011). "Manning Marable's Living Legacy". Columbia Magazine.
- Manning Marable interview via Tavis Smiley (PBS)
- Marable Memorial Film
- Interview with Marable on "New Books in Biography"
- McMillian, John (April 4, 2011). "For Manning". The Atlantic.