Dr. Manning Marable – Author, Educator

* Dr. Manning Marable * Born May 13, 1950, in Dayton, Ohio
Died April 1, 2011, in New York City, New York

Education: B.A., Earlham College, 1971; M.A., University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1972; Ph.D., University of Maryland, 1976.

Memberships: National Black Political Assembly; Democratic Socialists of America; Committees of Correspondence; Organization of American Historians; Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History; National Council of Black Studies.

Dr. Manning, an influential historian. His forthcoming biography of Malcolm X could revise perceptions of the slain civil rights leader.

Marable was born May 13, 1950, in Dayton, Ohio. He wrote in his 1996 book, “Speaking Truth to Power: Essays on Race, Resistance and Radicalism” that he was born into an era that witnessed the emergence of Rosa Parks and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., as well as nonviolent movements in the South struggling to break the back of white supremacy.

Marable was the child of middle-class black Americans; he wrote his father a teacher and businessman, his mother an educator and college professor. He watched from afar as blacks in the South rebelled against segregation and racial inequality.

He wrote that his mother encouraged him to attend King’s funeral in Atlanta in 1968 “to witness a significant event in our people’s history.” He served as the local black newspaper’s correspondent and marched along with thousands of others during the funeral procession.

“With Martin’s death, my childhood abruptly ended,” Marable wrote. “My understanding of political change began a trajectory from reform to radicalism.”

In the 1970s, Marable earned a bachelor’s degree from Earlham College in Indiana, a master’s from the University of Wisconsin and a doctorate from the University of Maryland.

He wrote hundreds of papers and nearly 20 books, including “How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America” and “The Great Wells of Democracy: The Meaning of Race in American Life.”

Marable was a professor of African American studies, history, political science and public affairs at Columbia University, where he also was director of the Center for Contemporary Black History and the founding director of African American Studies from 1993 to 2003.

“Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention” is scheduled to be released soon`.

The nearly 600-page biography is described as a reevaluation of Malcolm X’s life, bringing fresh insight to subjects including “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” and his assassination at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan on Feb. 21, 1965.

The book is based on exhaustive research, including thousands of pages of FBI files and records from the Central Intelligence Agency and State Department. Marable also conducted interviews with the slain civil rights leader’s confidants and security team, as well as witnesses to his assassination.

Benjamin Todd Jealous, president of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People, said in a statement that Marable’s “contributions to the struggle for freedom of African Americans will never be forgotten.”



  • How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America: Problems in Race, Political Economy, and Society, South End Press, 1983.
  • Black American Politics: From the Washington Marches to Jesse Jackson, Verso, 1985.
  • W. E. B. Du Bois: Black Radical Democrat, Twayne, 1986.
  • African and Caribbean Politics: From Kwame Nkrumah to the Grenada Revolution, Verso, 1987.
  • Race Reform and Rebellion: The Second Reconstruction in Black America, 1945-1990, University Press of Mississippi, 1991.
  • The Crisis of Color and Democracy: Essays on Race, Class, and Power, Common Courage Press, 1992.
  • Black Water: Historical Essays, University Press of Colorado, 1993.

Further Reading


  • Chronicle of Higher Education, October 20, 1993, pp. A15-17.
  • Essence, November 1990, p. 130; May 1991, p. 42.
  • Grapevine Weekly, August 6, 1981.
  • Progressive, January 1987, pp. 18-23; December 1992, p. 42; February 1993, pp. 20-25.
  • Race & Reason, autumn 1994.
  • U.S. News & World Report, July 18, 1994, p. 29.

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