The art of Kevin Blythe Sampson

THE ART OF
KEVIN BLYTHE SAMPSON

4/6/11

The world lost an intellectual giant in Dr. Manning Marable

The world lost an intellectual giant in Dr. Manning Marable

Opinion

The world lost an intellectual giant in Dr. Manning Marable


The world lost an intellectual giant in Dr. Manning Marable

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(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

He coined the term "Malcolmologist" to describe himself and others like him who had been moved by the life and work of Malcolm to the point of inspiration and emulation, whose introduction to black political thought and desire for black liberation could be traced back to an embrace of Malcolm's words. Right up until his death, he was giving us the language to define our place in this world.

I didn't have the chance to meet Marable before he passed, and that will always be something I regret. He did, however, send me a tweet one day acknowledging that he had read an article I had written, and (pardon my language) I lost my damn mind. My ran around my house like a madman on fire, sending text messages to everyone I know and screaming "MANNING MARABLE READ SOMETHING I WROTE!" No, I never got the chance to extend a hand to him, pull him in for a brotherly embrace, and offer a quiet "thank you" the way that I had envisioned, but in that moment he touched me.

As the news of his death came in, it was astonishing to watch the reaction on Twitter, as folks of all different stripes offered their condolences and fond memories. It was a testament to his extensive reach and deep intellect that scholars in varying fields (history, political science, sociology, anthropology, economics, psychology, and more) discussed the impact he had on their work. In his book The Great Wells of Democracy: The Meaning of Race in American Life, Marable wrote "Grace is the ability to redefine the boundaries of possibility." He will be missed, but it is Marable's own grace that has and will continue to help us re-imagine the possible in all of our l