crown CU Home > Libraries Home
Columbia University Libraries Archival CollectionsRare Book & Manuscript Library Collections
 

   Manning Marable papers, 1967-2011

Download and Print CitationContact Bookmark Share

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Manning Marable Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information

Abstract

Marable was a leading figure in African-American studies as well as a historian, social theorist, and political activist. The collection includes appointment books, biographical information, budgets, clippings, correspondence, drafts, lecture notes, manuscripts, photographs, proposals, reports, speeches, syllabi, and teaching materials.

At a Glance

Call No.:MS#1614
Bib ID:9364858 View CLIO record
Creator(s):Marable, Manning, 1950-2011.
Title:Manning Marable papers, 1967-2011
Physical description:137 linear feet (89 record cartons, 55.5 document boxes, 2 card files, and 2 flat boxes)
Language(s):In English.
Access: This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. The records in Box 90 are restricted until 2041. Otherwise, this collection has no restrictions. If you would like to use audiovisual materials in Series VI, please contact the library in advance of your visit to discuss access options.  More information »

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in six series and several subseries.

Return to top

Description

Scope and Content

William Manning Marable was a leading figure in African-American studies as well as a historian, social theorist, and political activist, consistently positioning himself at the cutting edge of the struggle for racial equality and other progressive causes. The records in this collection document Marable’s academic, political, and scholarly work.

The collection is comprehensive in its coverage. The earliest records are newspapers that document Marable’s work for the Daily Express and the Earlham Post (1968-1970), high-school photographs (1967), and files related to his undergraduate and graduate studies (1970-1976). Coverage of his professional and political work exists for the full length of his career, and the records include appointment books, biographical information, budgets, clippings, correspondence, curriculum vitae, drafts, lecture notes, manuscripts, meeting materials, notebooks, photographs, proposals, reports, research notes, speeches, syllabi, and teaching materials.

Marable’s academic activities included administrative work, research, teaching, writing, and involvement in conferences and other professional activities. The earliest records document Marable’s undergraduate and graduate studies and include articles, book reviews, notebooks, papers, photographs, research correspondence and notes, teaching files, and Marable’s dissertation, "African Nationalist: The Life of John Langalibalele Dube" (1976). The records also include professional and teaching files from Marable’s academic positions, and these include appointment letters, conference planning materials, committee materials, correspondence, curriculum vitae, departmental and other institutional communications, lecture notes, meeting notes, syllabi, teaching materials, and updates regarding his professional activities. As Marable’s career progressed, he took on more administrative duties, and these activities are documented through budgets, conference and program materials, correspondence, meeting materials, planning materials, proposals, and reports. The records also include documentation of his activities in the larger academic world, and include information on Marable’s participation in conferences, lectures, and trips outside of his institutional duties.

Marable’s scholarship is well-documented in the records. The records include contracts, correspondence, meeting notes, research notes, drafts, and final typescripts related to articles, book reviews, books, chapters, editorial work, essays, lectures, and speeches. Marable also wrote poetry, and there are some drafts and examples of his work in the collection.

Records related to the Malcolm X Project and to Marable’s research for Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention (2011) are in a separate collection entitled, "Malcolm X Project (MXP) Records." There are some teaching materials, as well as drafts for articles and lectures related to Malcolm X in the Manning Marable Papers.

Marable was a frequent lecturer, speaker, and commentator. The texts for many of Marable’s lectures and speeches are included in this collection. These files may include drafts, revisions, and final copies, particularly if a Marable spoke on a specific topic or theme on several occasions over time. The collection also includes some business files related to his speaking activities, which were sometimes arranged through the American Program Bureau (APB).

The records also document Marable’s political work, including his involvement with several political organizations including Institute of the Black World (IBW), National Black Political Assembly, National Black Independent Political Party (NBIPP), New American Movement (NAM), Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Committees of Correspondence, and Black Radical Congress (BRC). These records include correspondence, conference and meeting materials, and membership materials. Marable also wrote the political columns "From the Grassroots" and "Along the Color Line" and the records related to these include clippings, correspondence, drafts, mailing lists, newspaper information, promotional materials and typed copies of the columns. Marable’s political speeches are also included in the collection.

The records do not include personal or family materials.

The records include photographs, which are mainly professional portrait shots, or related to specific events. The collection also includes some audio and video materials related to conferences, appearances, and other commentaries or speeches made by Marable.

Series I: Correspondence, 1971-1999

This series contains Marable’s political and professional correspondence. Marable organized this set of correspondence in files labeled as political or professional, or with the name of the organization, publication, or subject. There is additional correspondence in both Series II and Series III.

Subseries I.1: General Political Correspondence, 1981-1994, 1998

This subseries contains general political correspondence files, arranged chronologically.

Subseries I.2: General Professional Correspondence, 1974-1995

This subseries contains general professional correspondence files, arranged chronologically.

Subseries I.3: Alphabetical Correspondence, 1971-1999

This subseries contains correspondence filed alphabetically by the name of the organization, publication, or subject.

Series II: Administrative and Editorial Files, 1971-2011

This series contains files related to Marable’s academic, administrative, editorial, political and professional activities.

These files were kept in Marable’s office at Columbia University. Marable also kept files in his home related to many of the same activities and subjects; these are in filed in Series III: Chronological Files.

The records include material related to Marable’s academic, administrative, and teaching activities. The files include biographical profiles, curriculum vitae, and professional activity information forms that were used for academic purposes. Other records relate to courses and seminars taught by Marable, and these files include reading lists, syllabi, lectures notes, and teaching materials. There are also files related to administrative activities and special projects; these files include budgets, correspondence, grant applications, lecture notes, meetings materials and notes, programs, promotional materials, proposals and reports. Marable also attended, planned, and participated in academic conferences and seminars, and there are files related to these activities in this series.

The files also document Marable’s editorial and writing work and include records related to articles, books, columns, dissertations, essays, lectures, speeches, and other research and writing projects where Marable was an author, contributor, or editor. These files include clippings, correspondence, drafts, manuscripts, meeting notes, memos, proposals, typescripts, and proofs, as well as research correspondence and files. Marable also wrote poetry, and there are some drafts and examples of his work in the collection.

This series also contains files related to Marable’s political work, including his columns, "Along the Color Line" and "From the Grassroots," as well as his work with the Black Radical Congress (BRC) and the National Black Caucus of States Institute (NBCSI).

For the most part, the files were originally arranged in sets of larger project and subject files, but other files were less organized. While the files have been left in their original physical order, the container list has been arranged into subseries to facilitate access to the records.

Subseries II.1: Biographical Files, 1978-2008

This series includes biographical profiles, curriculum vitae, faculty information forms that provide information on Marable’s professional activities, press clippings, and photographs.

Subseries I.2: General Files, 1978-2011 undated [Bulk Dates: 1998-2006]

This series contains both general files and individual administrative and subject files, arranged alphabetically, regarding administrative, editorial, and other professional activities.

Subseries II.3: Larger Project and Subject Files, 1971-2011

These contain larger sets of project files related to academic, editorial, political, and professional activities and projects such as the Africana Criminal Justice Project (ACJP), Amistad Digital Resource Project, "Along the Color Line," Black Intellectuals Project, Black Radical Congress (BRC), Critical Black Studies Series, "From the Grassroots," Harlem Digital Archive Project, and Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Culture, Society, and Politics . There are also files related to Marable’s teaching activities (see files listed under "Courses") and writing projects.

Subseries II.4: Essays/Speeches/Texts, 1991-2011

This contains essays, speeches, and texts that were filed as set. These are organized by format and then filed by title.

Series III: Chronological Files, 1967-2012

This series contains materials similar to those in Series II but these files were maintained in a loose chronological arrangement by Marable.

These files were kept in Marable’s home. Marable also kept files in his campus office related to many of the same activities and subjects; these are in filed in Series II: Administrative and Editorial Files.

The records include material related to Marable’s academic, administrative, and teaching activities. The files include biographical profiles, curriculum vitae, and professional activity information forms that were used for academic purposes. Other records relate to courses and seminars taught by Marable, and these files include reading lists, syllabi, lectures notes, and teaching materials. There are also files related to administrative activities and special projects; these files include budgets, correspondence, grant applications, lecture notes, meetings materials and notes, programs, promotional materials, proposals and reports. Marable also attended, planned, and participated in academic conferences and seminars, and there are files related to these activities in this series.

The files also document Marable’s editorial and writing work and include records related to articles, books, columns, dissertations, essays, lectures, speeches, and other research and writing projects where Marable was an author, contributor, or editor. These files include clippings, correspondence, drafts, manuscripts, meeting notes, memos, proposals, typescripts, and proofs, as well as research correspondence and files. Marable also wrote poetry, and there are some drafts and examples of his work in the collection.

This series also contains files related to Marable’s political work, including his columns, "Along the Color Line" and "From the Grassroots," as well as his work with political organizations including Institute of the Black World (IBW), National Black Political Assembly, National Black Independent Political Party (NBIPP), New American Movement (NAM), Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Committees of Correspondence, and Black Radical Congress (BRC). These records include clippings, correspondence, conference and meeting materials, drafts, mailing lists, membership materials, promotional materials, speeches, and typed copies of his political columns.

These files are listed in their original order although some files have been moved to larger boxes for preservation purposes.

Series IV: Appointment Books, 1979-2011

This series contains Marable’s appointment books for 1979-2011, with a few gaps in coverage. These contain detailed information regarding Marable’s activities and appointments, and often include contact information related to specific events.

Series V: Printed Materials, 1968-2004

This series contains books, brochures, clippings, conference proceedings, course readers, journals, magazines, newspapers, pamphlets, reprints, and other printed materials.

Subseries V.1: Printed Materials Related to Manning Marable, 1968-2003

This subseries contains printed that are directly related to Marable. The bulk of the materials consist of course readers, journals, magazines, or newspapers where Marable served as either an author, editor or contributor. There are also a few items where Marable was the subject of the piece.

It is possible that there is additional material directly related to Marable in Subseries V.3.

Subseries V.2: Inscribed Materials, 1970s-2000s

This subseries contains books, pamphlets, reprints, and other printed materials are inscribed to Marable.

Subseries V.3: Other Printed Materials, 1968-2004

This subseries contains printed materials collected by Marable, but to which he did not make any direct contributions. This subseries includes many African-American, Leftist, and Marxist publications.

Series VI: Audiovisual Materials, 1985-2005, undated

This series contains audiocassettes, audio tape reels, compact discs, DVDs, and videocassettes.

Return to top

Using the Collection

Offsite

Access Restrictions

 This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

      offsite requestMore information and link to off-site request form

The records in Box 90 are restricted until 2041. Otherwise, this collection has no restrictions. If you would like to use audiovisual materials in Series VI, please contact the library in advance of your visit to discuss access options.

Restrictions on Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Manning Marable Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Finding aid available online.

Selected Related Material-- at Columbia

Malcolm X Project Records, Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Return to top

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

Papers processed by Catherine C. Ricciardi, Maya Meredith (CC 2014), and Tiffany Poras (CC 2016), 2013-2016.

Finding aid written by Catherine C. Ricciardi, 2015-2016. Biographical Note supplied by Megan French Marcelin, February 2016.

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion July 17, 2015 Finding aid written in English. Finding aid adheres to that prescribed by Describing Archives: A Content Standard
    2015-07-17 File created.
    2015-07-17 XML document instance created by Catherine C. Ricciardi
    2016-02-10 XML document instance updated by Catherine C. Ricciardi
    2016-07-01 XML document instance updated by Catherine C. Ricciardi

Return to top

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Appointment booksPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
BudgetsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Clippings (information artifacts)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
CorrespondencePortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Drafts (documents)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Grant proposalsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Lecture notesPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Manuscripts (document genre)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
NotesPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
PhotographsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
PoetryPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
ProposalsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Research NotesPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Resumes (personnel records)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
SpeechesPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
SyllabiPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
TypescriptsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
African American college administratorsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
African American college teachersPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
African American historiansPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
African American intellectualsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
African American political activistsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
African American studiesPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
African American studies--Education (Higher)--United StatesPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
African Americans--Civil RightsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
African Americans--Education (Higher)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
African Americans--HistoryPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
African Americans--Politics and government--20th centuryPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
African Americans--ReparationsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
African Americans--Social ConditionsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
African Americans--Study and teaching (Higher)--United StatesPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
African Americans--Study and teaching (Secondary)--United StatesPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Black Radical CongressPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Columbia University--Center for Contemporary Black HistoryPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Columbia University--FacultyPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Columbia University--Institute for Research in African-American StudiesPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Commitees of Correspondence for Democracy and SocialismPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Committees of Correspondence (U.S.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Communist Workers Party (U.S.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Democratic Socialists of AmericaPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Marable, Manning, 1950-2011PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Mullings, LeithPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
National Black Independent Political party (U.S.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
New American Movement (Organization)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Ohio State University--Department of Black StudiesPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Racism--United StatesPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Racism--United States--Study and teaching (Higher)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Socialist Workers PartyPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
United States--Race relationsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
United States--Race relations--Study and teaching (Higher)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
University of Colorado Boulder--Center for Studies of Ethnicity and Race in AmericaPortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Return to top

History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note

William Manning Marable (May 13, 1950-April 1, 2011) was a leading theorist and historian of socioeconomic and racial inequality. Born May 13, 1950 in Dayton, Ohio, Marable was the son of educators. Active in school groups and student movements, Marable cultivated his love of history and writing early. He went on to attend Earlham College (1971), and received a master’s degree (1972) and PhD (1976) in history from the University of Wisconsin and University of Maryland, respectively.

Following his studies, Marable served on the faculty of Tuskegee Institute; University of San Francisco; Cornell University; Fisk University; Colgate University, where he was the founding director of the Africana and Hispanic studies program; Purdue University; Ohio State University as chair of the Department of Black Studies; and University of Colorado, Boulder, where Marable served as co-chair of Critical Studies of the Americas.

Marable strongly believed that institution building was central to maintaining and sustaining black studies, which he understood to be an alternative to the traditional hegemonic history. In 1993, he became the Founding Director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS). During his tenure (1993-2003), the Institute launched academic programs for undergraduate and graduate students centered on teaching the African American freedom struggle. As a teacher and mentor, Marable was devoted to fostering achievement and cultivating student talent—placing students in leadership roles on institutional projects.

He was equally making knowledge available to the broader community. He was the founding editor of Souls , a journal named for W.E.B. DuBois’ seminal work, which became a leading journal for African American studies and black political thought. Marable also founded the Columbia Center for Contemporary Black History (2002-2011), an interdisciplinary research center designed to promote the critical study of black politics, history, and culture. Marable launched several initiatives, including the Amistad Digital Resource Project, the Malcolm X Project, and the Africana Criminal Justice Project, all of which shared a commitment to social justice, equitable access, and public education.

Although Marable was known for writing his many manuscripts freehand—filling sheets upon sheets of yellow loose leaf with his impeccable script—he was in fact a man well ahead of his time with respect to digital humanities. Early on in his tenure at Columbia University, Marable piloted what would be his first of several digital humanities projects, launching a multimedia project that reexamined Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk .

His commitment to the idea that all knowledge should be public motivated him to write and produce a free column that examined black politics, culture, and current events for nearly thirty years. The column, "From the Grassroots" (later "Along the Color Line), was syndicated in over 320 publications across the globe.

Throughout his career, Marable acted on his belief that theory and practice were inseparable and was active in a broad array of political organizations and an advisor to many more. These included the Institute for the Black World, the Democratic Socialists of America DSA), the National Black Political Assembly (NBPA), the National Black Independent Political Party (NBIPP) and the Committees of Correspondence. In 1998, along with his wife, Leith Mullings, he was one of the co-founders of the Black Radical Congress (BRC).

Influenced by black radical thinkers from DuBois to CLR James to Walter Rodney, Marable’s worked from an intellectual tradition that was anti-imperialist, anti-racist, and anti-capitalist. These themes were all central to his influential How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America (1983). The third edition, with a Foreward from his wife, Leith Mullings, underscoring its relevance to the current period, was published in 2015, which recently entered its third edition—a testament to its enduring intellectual significance. His written work demonstrated a profound and unique commitment and evolution as a writer, scholar, thinker and political activist. The author of over 30 manuscripts, Marable’s other work includes Race, Reform and Rebellion: The Second Reconstruction in Black America, 1945-1982 (1984); Speaking Truth to Power: Essays on Race, Resistance, and Radicalism (1996); Let Nobody Turn Us Around (with Leith Mullings, 2000); Freedom: A Photographic History of the African American Struggle (with Leith Mullings, 2002); and Living Black History: How Reimagining the African American Past Can Remake America’s Racial Future (2006).

His final book, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention , was the culmination of a nearly twenty-year investigation of Malcolm X. The acclaimed biography was awarded the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in History and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Documentation of that work is in catalogued in the Malcolm X Project collection, found here (hyperlink). Marable suffered from sarcoidosis for many years, and underwent a double lung transplant in July 2010. He died of complications from pneumonia on April 1, 2011.

Return to top