Saturday, April 2, 2011

Manning Marable dies: celebrate the life and legacy of a great scholar

Excerpt from a remembrance written by friend and colleague, Michael Eric Dyson, published on The

Manning Marable: A Brother, a Mentor, a Great Mind
| Posted: April 2, 2011 at 12:36 AM

I discovered Manning Marable as a 21-year-old freshman at Knoxville College, a historically black college I'd left my native Detroit to attend after working in factories and fathering a son during the time most college-bound kids are in school.

I was in the library stacks, browsing the sociology section, when I came upon a book that grabbed my attention: From the Grassroots: Social and Political Essays Towards Afro-American Liberation. It was clear that Marable's left politics reflected how he had baptized classic European social theory in the black experience. "Wow," I said to myself. "If Karl Marx was a brother, this is how he'd write and think."

The author photo on this intriguing book showed a young man with a handsome face that was crowned by a shock of black hair whose woolly Afro styling conjured a 20th-century Frederick Douglass. As I was to learn later, the comparison to Douglass didn't end at the 'fro, since Marable, like his 19th-century predecessor, was an eloquent spokesman for the democratic dreams of despised black people.

As I devoured Marable's brilliant work -- including his quick 1980 follow-up, Blackwater: Historical Studies in Race, Class Consciousness, and Revolution, and his pioneering 1983 work, How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America -- I knew I was in the presence of a world-class intellectual who lent his learning to the liberation of the vulnerable masses. I was impressed that a man so smart and accomplished could so unashamedly identify with struggling black folk -- and I was really impressed that he was so young, only eight years older than I.

Read the full article at The Root:

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