The family of the late Dr. Manning Marable, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian who received an honorary doctorate from John Jay College in 2006, has donated his collection of authored books to John Jay’s Prison-to-College Pipeline (P2CP) initiative at the upstate Otisville Correctional Facility.
Marable, who died in April 2011 at age 60, was a professor of African-American studies at Columbia University. He had informed his family that one of his passing wishes was to make his work available to incarcerated individuals. John Jay’s work in educating incarcerated people made it an appropriate choice for receiving the bequest.
Professor Baz Dreisinger, the Academic Director of the P2CP program, said Marable’s “powerful donation” would be housed in the Otisville classroom library. “The books will be deeply valued on so many levels,” said Dreisinger who earned her doctorate at Columbia and had the opportunity to work with Marable, “particularly with the knowledge that Professor Marable himself wanted them to be there.”
John Jay President Jeremy Travis recalled also having had the opportunity to work with Marable on issues of mass incarceration and prisoner reentry. In a note to Marable’s widow, Leith Mullings, a Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the City University Graduate Center, President Travis said of the late historian’s gift, “For us to receive his books and facilitate their installation in a prison where they can educate the next generation is a particular honor.”
Marable was the M. Moran Weston and Black Alumni Council Professor of African American Studies and professor of history and public affairs at Columbia University. He was founding director of African American Studies at Columbia from 1993 to 2003, and directed Columbia’s Center for Contemporary Black History. The author of fifteen books, Marable was also the editor of the quarterly journal Souls. His last book, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, was published shortly after his death to great acclaim, and earned him the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in History.