Scholar and author Manning Marable is considered an expert on the black experience. Marable was born in Dayton, Ohio on May 13, 1950. His adolescent years were influenced by the civil rights movement. The segregation he witnessed as a child and the movement for integration had enormous impact on his development. As a senior in high school in Dayton, Ohio in 1968, Marable was a writer of a newspaper column, "Youth Speaks Out," for the local black weekly. When Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, Marable's mother decided to fly him to Atlanta to cover the funeral for the black newspaper. He was the first person at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where the funeral was held. Marable was able to witness the funeral in its entirety and was invited into the press room that overlooked the ceremony. At this moment Marable felt that he was a participant in history as it unfolded, and he decided that day that he wanted to be a part of black history in the making.
Marable came of age during the 1960s and like many at that time, he was involved in protests and marches against the Vietnam War and civil rights protests. He continued writing for student newspapers during college, and in 1971, Marable graduated from Earlham College. In 1972, he received his master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After receiving his Ph.D. in American history from the University of Maryland in 1976, he became active with the black freedom movement. In 1976, he became active in the National Black Political Assembly, a network of community organizers, elected officials, and political activists. The National Black Political Assembly was an offshoot of the Gary convention of March 1972, which illustrated the pinnacle of the Black Power phase of the black freedom struggle in the 1960s and 1970s. At the Gary convention, thousands of African American activists and political figures discussed measures to expand black power in the political world, and to encourage the formation of independent political institutions committed to black liberation. In 1977, Marable joined the New American Movement. His involvement in these organizations shaped his views of politics and its relationship to race and class.
In 1980, Marable served as the senior research associate of Africana Studies at Cornell University, and in 1981 he became professor of history and economics and director of the Race Relations Institute at Fisk University. From 1987 to 1989, he was the chairperson of the Department of Black Studies at Ohio State University, and from 1989 to 1993, he was a professor of history and political science at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Beginning in 1993, he was professor of history and political science at Columbia University. During his time at Columbia, he served as the founding director for the Institute of Research in African American Studies. Under his leadership, the institute became a leading center for scholarship and research on the black American experience. He has written and edited over twenty books and anthologies, and almost two hundred articles in academic journals and edited volumes as well.
- Born in Dayton, Ohio on May 13
- Graduates from Earlham College
- Receives M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Ph.D. in American history from the University of Maryland; begins writing political commentary series "Along the Color Line"
- Serves as senior research associate of Africana Studies at Cornell University
- Becomes professor of history and economics and director of the Race Relations Institute at Fisk University
- Chairs the Department of Black Studies at Ohio State University
- Serves as professor of history and political science at the University of Colorado at Boulder
- Accepts position as professor of history and political science at Columbia University
- Establishes the Center for Contemporary Black History at Columbia University
- Designs the content for a multimedia educational kiosk featured at the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center; publishes Living Black History
In 1976, Marable began writing a political commentary series called "Along the Color Line," which continued thirty years later to appear in hundreds of newspaper and journals worldwide. In the early 2000s, Marable remained a very popular lecturer and was widely requested for guest appearances on numerous television and radio shows. He was co-founder of the Black Radical Congress, a coalition of African American activists. In 2002, Marable established the Center for Contemporary Black History at Columbia University, and in 2005, he designed the content for a multimedia educational kiosk featured at the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center. Also in 2005, he published Living Black History. Marable continued to donate time and energy to causes involving civil rights, labor, religion, and social justice groups.
Crawford, Franklin. "Marable to Give Sage Sermon, MLK Lecture, Feb. 22 and 23." http://www.news.cornell.edu/Chronicle/04/2.19.04/Marable.html (Accessed 11 January 2006).
Overturf, Laura. "Manning Marable to Speak Feb. 24." http://www.udel.edu/PR/UpDate/99/20/manning.htm (Accessed 11 January 2006).
South End Press. "Being Left: A Humane Society is Possible Through Struggle; An Interview with Manning Marable." http://www.zmag.org/zmag/articles/marableint.htm (Accessed 11 January 2006).