The late Manning Marable, founding director of the Africana and Latin American Studies Program at Colgate, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for history today, honored for a Malcolm X book he worked on for years but did not live to see published.
Marable died April 1, 2011, at age 60 just as “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention” was being released. The biography, at nearly 600 pages, has been characterized in media accounts as a re-evaluation of Malcolm X’s life that challenges long-held beliefs about the civil rights leader.
“It is so rewarding to see Manning’s work honored as a landmark achievement in the documentation of 20th century American history,” Wendy Wolf, associate publisher at Viking, said in a statement to the Associated Press.
Marable was at Colgate from 1983 to 1987, teaching a range of courses including African American Social Thought and African American Freedom Struggles.
Last October, the university celebrated his life with two events including a lecture by Clayborne Carson, professor of history and the founding director of The Martin Luther King Jr. Research & Education Foundation. His talk was titled “Manning Marable on the Integrity of Leadership and Scholarship in History’s Greatest Freedom Struggle.”
Another session included three scholars, Robyn Spencer (Lehman College), Russell Rickford (Dartmouth College), and Komozi Woodard (Sarah Lawrence University), who discussed Marable’s book on King.
Marable left Colgate in 1987 for Ohio State University, where he was chairman of the Department of Black Studies, and subsequently taught ethnic studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In 1993 he moved to Columbia University, where he founded and directed the Institute for Research in African-American Studies.