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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dr. Manning Marable: Remembering Our Father

Celebration of the Life of Dr. Manning Marable on the Morningside Campus of Columbia University, Roone Alredge Auditorium, Lerner Hall on May 26, 2011. 

On behalf of my older sister, Malaika, and twin brother, Joshua, we want to thank you for joining us this evening, to celebrate the life of an extraordinary and inspirational man, and above all, an exceptional Father.  On this day, and every day, it makes us proud to honor a true champion for our people, whom he so loved, our Dad.

Our hearts have continued to ache over his passing, but we have found strength in reflecting on the memories that we shared and how he chose to express himself and live on earth.  We are forever thankful and appreciative of everyone who has reached out to us, and who loved him as much as we did. We thank you.

To most of you, he was Dr. Marable, Professor Marable, or Manning. To us he was Dad, Daddy, and Pops. To him we were Tiger, Soji (My Little Girl) and Handsome Son.

There is no greater gift to give your children than to be amazing. Dad was amazing.

Daddy was our Hero.  Growing up we were captivated by his storytelling that took us to his childhood days - playing practical jokes on Uncle Jimmy, marveling over his younger sister, our Aunt Madonna, and spending long-hot summers with family in Tuskegee, Alabama.  He was an animated storyteller, had a great sense of humor and was very funny. His stories of real life experiences captured our imaginations, warmed our hearts, and impacted our lives.

Dad was gifted.  He had the ability to make you feel like you were the most important person in the world.  His charm, charisma, and radiant heart could light up any room.  People were drawn to his magnetism.  Dad was hip and in his own words, a real "cool cat."

Dad provided sound advice at the right moments, to comfort you during the toughest times.  He was always there when you needed him most. His smile, loving hugs, light-hearted jokes and songs, would make you come alive and brighten your day.

As a child, our grandparent's blessed over him and directed him towards becoming a historian. Dad had an incredible mind, and his memory was remarkable.  Growing up, we called him our “walking encyclopedia.”  We could be anywhere, and he would know the importance and historical significance of each place, building, and person.  He was a humble genius.  A classic academic. We recall as children, forming an assembly line at the kitchen counter, stuffing and sealing envelopes for his column,“From the Grassroots,” which later became the column, "Along the Color Line." 

We believe he spoke so passionately about his work because he loved it so much, but also for all of us to carry on his legacy. Every story, every book, every lecture, small talk at the dinner table, walk on the Vineyard, speak truth to power and his words into existence and live not only for him but for yourselves.

He will always be with us. He lives through his teachings, books, students, colleagues, family, children, and grandchildren. Dad would want us to find our life's true passion and live each day walking on that path and fighting for what's right, even when some may be too scared or think that you are wrong. That's speaking truth to power.

We miss everything about him. His laugh. His smile. His real hugs and warm embrace. The way he danced, talked about sports, his listening ear and sound advice.  His hand clap and laugh, pretending to bite his nails waiting to tell us the punchline of a joke. The twinkle in his eyes when he talked about his life's work. The many other books that he had stored in his mind. Him.

So today we say, thank you. Thank you Daddy for being an inspiration to us all. Thank you for being an exceptional human being. Above all thank you for being an amazing Father.

We are forever thankful for his love, support, and guidance.  

Our Dad was not only amazing in his work but truly amazing as a Father. That's the type of legacy that we want to leave. Be Amazing.

Thank you. 

Photos from public memorial


  1. Sojourner-
    I know how much you loved and honored your dad. I know how much you will miss him and this pains me. I remember him being so nice, so smart, and that laugh, that laugh of his was infectious! I remember us as kids helping him send out mailings for his article, double-checking his attendance lists for his college students, asking him to draw pictures for our projects (he was a great artist too). You dad and mom provided great support to me growing up, I will always hold that near and dear to my heart. You, Malaika, Josh and Mama Hazel are always in my heart. Love you, Teresa Hernandez