Join 3,413 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


A Black Scholar Gone
April 2, 2011 9:32 AM   Subscribe

Manning Marrable is dead. Author of a controversial biography of Malcolm X, he was a Marxist professor who wrote regular columns such as this one. Unfortunately, manningmarable.net, a collection of his columns, is no longer up, but he was an influential scholar (Mandatory Wikipedia Link).

He was a also a classmate of mine at Earlham College, a tiny Quaker institution with (at the time, anyway) a fairly large group of mostly leftist black students.
posted by kozad (23 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I heard about this yesterday. It's awful that he didn't live to see the publication of the biography, which will come out on Monday. And I look forward to reading it.

.
posted by rtha at 10:16 AM on April 2, 2011


I was very sad to hear this news yesterday. Marable was a terifically valuable voice on politics and history, someone whose voice I always looked forward to hearing, and he's gone before his time. I'd known about his work on the Malcolm X bio, but not how close it was to publication — it will be exciting to see it emerge though sad that Marable won't be around to spiritedly defend it as he ought to be.
posted by RogerB at 10:18 AM on April 2, 2011


Mandatory Wikipedia link=Not Mandatory

I'm very glad you posted this. I read the article in the Times yesterday, and was intrigued...I'm looking forward to the Mefi-ification of the story.
posted by nevercalm at 10:24 AM on April 2, 2011


A later postscript: Louis Farrakahn, the present leader of the group, very recently came out in full support of Gadaffi. Reason? Gadaffi funded the mosque Farrakahn wanted to build.

I love the remark in the NY Times article that states that Haley was a "liberal Republican." I had forgotten there used to be such beings.
posted by Postroad at 10:37 AM on April 2, 2011


One of my dreams was to attend his lectures at Columbia University.

.
posted by yaymukund at 10:46 AM on April 2, 2011


.
posted by scody at 10:47 AM on April 2, 2011


Unfortunately, manningmarable.net, a collection of his columns, is no longer up

The Internet Archive has them here.
posted by Upton O'Good at 10:49 AM on April 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:55 AM on April 2, 2011


.
posted by jammy at 11:04 AM on April 2, 2011


FIGHT FIGHT INNER LIGHT
KILL QUAKERS KILL!


oh and .
posted by leotrotsky at 11:44 AM on April 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


.
posted by black rainbows at 12:54 PM on April 2, 2011


how tragic that he was not able to see the final book, but also missed the opportunity to talk about it publicly, defend it etc. Looking forward to reading the book!
posted by greenhornet at 1:52 PM on April 2, 2011


.
posted by pdxjmorris at 2:14 PM on April 2, 2011


I'm really looking forward to the new Malcolm X biography.
posted by NoMich at 3:01 PM on April 2, 2011


.





A true scholar and activist.
posted by anansi at 3:07 PM on April 2, 2011


This is so sad. The business about police complicity in Malcolm X's death is horrifying— will be interesting to see what he has to back that up.

The Times piece was a bit odd about Malcolm X's criminal history though— I recently reread the autobiography and was shocked at how *little* crime he actually committed. I thought that he'd been much more entrenched in that world and had done much more time in prison than he actually did. So it's weird to see that Marable says that its exaggerated.

.
posted by Maias at 3:12 PM on April 2, 2011


Eerily I was reading James Cone today, when I heard that he had died. Much of this has struck me has things already known or suspected, though I obv. have not read the book. I think that X's conversion from Elijah Muhammed to a more mainstream Islam, in the midst of trips to Africa and the Middle East is one of the most important moments of American Religious History, and I think, though King has rated as a theologian, sadly X has not.

I have profound trust in Marrable's abilities as a scholar who takes religion seriously.

(Also, as with the case in Ghandi's maybe sort of same sex liason, and contextualizing it in a colonial context, it is vital to note X's economic status, and the cultural context of rough trade, in his assignations with men...an impt bit of queer history, but not every time someone fucks someone of the same gender, does it mean t hat one identity is present--frankly something else I trust Marrable with.)
posted by PinkMoose at 3:30 PM on April 2, 2011


I trust this Marxist professor no more that the craven Brit fascist historian linked here within the past week.

If the theories and programs of people like Marrable ever actually got implemented, we'd end up with a society little better than the GDR. With the Brit fascist, we'd get a Pinochet style country.

No dot
posted by aerotive at 9:45 PM on April 2, 2011


His one year at Colorado I took his Black Protest Movements course. He was interesting, though the course was a bit on auto-pilot -- about half the class was watching Eyes On The Prize. I wrote a paper on the role of Marcus Garvey's Back To Africa movement and its relationship to the Greenwood Race Riot he was meh about. Got out of there with a B.

But a very engaging lecturer. One of my top five classes at CU.

.
posted by dw at 10:52 PM on April 2, 2011


I trust this Marxist professor no more that the craven Brit fascist historian linked here within the past week.

If the theories and programs of people like Marrable ever actually got implemented, we'd end up with a society little better than the GDR. With the Brit fascist, we'd get a Pinochet style country.


shorter: "I have no meaningful clue what I'm talking about, but I have an opinion, and that's even better."
posted by scody at 1:18 AM on April 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


.
posted by 10thmuse at 2:14 PM on April 3, 2011


I've been studying Malcolm X for over ten years, During that time, I've assembled hours of historical video footage and audio interviews and currently run the largest Malcolm X page on youtube (over 16 million video views). While I'm looking forward to reading the book, this piece in the New York Times was absolutely terrible. Virtually all of the so-called revelations are already well known, such as the involvement of the police and other intelligence agencies in his assassination (John Ali, secretary for the NOI was an FBI informant, one of Malcolm's bodyguards was an undercover NYPD officer, etc.). That his autobiography is partly fictional has also been explored. Karl Evanzz' "The Judas Factor" is an incredibly well-researched look at the various plots behind Malcolm X's assassination.

Whatever you think of Malcolm X is probably wrong. He NEVER advocated violence and was an extremely intelligent and articulate individual who has been relegated to the role of hatemonger vs. MLK's supposed pacifism. If you're interested in learning more, check out an article I wrote about his assassination or, even better, listen for yourself and watch some footage of him speaking. While some of the earlier stuff is a bit too "white devil" vitriolic, much of what he said then is 100% applicable to our society today.
posted by antihostile at 8:10 AM on April 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


This morning's Democracy Now! had two excellent segments on Marable and the forthcoming A Life of Reinvention — one featuring archived interviews with Marable himself and one remembering him and discussing his work on Malcolm X with Bill Fletcher and Michael Eric Dyson.
posted by RogerB at 9:56 AM on April 4, 2011


« Older Melodic wooden sculpture plays Bach in the forest....  |  Gianmarco Magnani draws girls,... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments