Manning Marable’s Biography Wins Pulitzer

On Monday, April 16, former Colgate Professor and Founding Director of the African and Latin American Studies Program Man-ning Marable received the Pulitzer in Letters, Arts and Drama and History for his biography Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. Though he did not live to see his biogra-phy published in 2011, it has since been critically appraised, including this latest prestigious award.

During his stay at Colgate from 1983 to 1987, Marable was an esteemed professor on campus, teaching classes such as African American School of Thought and African Ameri-can Freedom Studies, and also founding the African American and Latin American Studies pro-gram. Throughout his lifetime, he authored many works on Af-rican American history, his last being the Malcolm X biography. Marable passed away on April 1, 2011, just three days before the biography was published.

The biography was written in response to Malcolm X’s own work The Autobiography of Mal-colm X, and, by including new sources from archives and gov-ernment documents, provides a fuller picture of the famous fig-ure, highlighting not only his political and religious beliefs but also his personal life. The biogra-phy also considers Malcolm X’s role in the Civil Rights Move-ment and a historical description and analysis of his assassination. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention was nominated for a National Book Award, and was ranked by The New York Times in the 10 Best Books of 2011.

“It is so rewarding to see Manning’s work honored as a landmark achieve-ment in the documentation of 20th century American history,” Associate Publisher at Viking Wendy Wolf said in a statement to the Associated Press.

Last fall, Colgate honored the life of Marable in a two-part celebration. The first event was a lecture by Professor of History and the Founding Director of The Martin Luther King Jr. Research & Education Foundation Clay-borne Carson; the lecture was en-titled “Manning Marable on the Integrity of Leadership and Schol-arship in History’s Greatest Free-dom Struggle.” The second event was a discussion of the Malcolm X biography led by scholars Robyn Spencer of Lehman College, Rus-sell Rickford of Dartmouth Col-lege, and Komozi Woodard of Sarah Lawrence University.

Due to his pioneering work in the African and Latin Ameri-can Studies program, and now his esteemed Pulitzer Prize, Marable will always be remembered and respected at Colgate as one of its finest professors.

Contact Andrea Hackett at [email protected].