D.C. (April 5, 2011) - The National Association of Black Journalists today
celebrates the life of Dr. Manning Marable, an advisor to several past NABJ
leaders whose book, "Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention,” is being released
60, a noted Columbia University scholar of African American history, died
Friday, April 1, just days before the release of his biography on the slain
human rights leader.
"The death of Professor Manning Marable is a shocking loss for
scholarship on the black condition in America, most especially on the eve of
the publication of his life’s work – a biography of Malcolm X,” NABJ Founder
Les Payne said from New York.
In addition to his sharp scholarship, which included some 200
articles in professional journals, in 1976, Marable started writing a newspaper
column in the Black Press, "Along the Color Line.”
"I grew up reading Dr. Marable’s columns long before I thought
about becoming a journalist,” said NABJ President Kathy Y. Times. "I was young,
but I understood the power and passion in his prose. I hope that young people
will have an appreciation for the works of writers such as Dr. Marable before
Payne also is working on a book about Malcolm X’s life.
"Dr. Marable spent his last fruitful years examining the complex
life of this towering 20th-Century figure who challenged the false
notion of white superiority and struck a death blow against the resulting sense
of conditioned black inferiority,” Payne said. "It is an added tragedy that the
author did not live to expand on the nuances of his research and analysis that
will generate new insight, questions, and further examination of the life and
death of Malcolm X.”
perused FBI files and records from the CIA and State Department, and he
conducted interviews with the slain leader’s confidants and security team, as
well as witnesses to the assassination, according to published reports.
Founder Claude Lewis recalled a White House meeting during President Jimmy
Carter’s administration that he attended with Marable and two other NABJ
founders, Reggie Bryant and Vernon Jarrett, both now deceased.
talked about the future and the future of black America,” Lewis recalled in an
interview from his home in southern New Jersey. "Manning was very assertive and
aggressive and verbal in the meeting. It was in a way that was unusual, because
usually you let the president lead the discussion.
told Carter what was failing at the time in black America and that a lot more
work had to be done in the area of housing and general education. He mentioned,
in particular, the Hispanic community needing support. Jimmy Carter was full of
smiles that day, and I think he was surprised how assertive his guests were
that day. It turned out to be a very formidable meeting with Reggie Bryant and
May 13, 1950, in Dayton, Ohio, Marable authored almost 20 books, including
"Speaking Truth to Power” and books on Medgar Evers and W.E.B. Du Bois.
His wife, Leith Mullings, told a reporter that Dr. Marable died from
complications of pneumonia at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. She
said he had suffered for 24 years from sarcoidosis, an inflammatory lung
disease, and had undergone a double lung transplant in July.
"The totality of Marable’s work has influenced students, readers
and other scholars; and it will continue to help change America for the
better,” Payne said.