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News Release

UAlbany Celebrates Black History Month
Manning Marable Addresses Martin Luther King Luncheon

Contact: Lisa James Goldsberry (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 27, 2004) -- Manning Marable, one of America's most influential and widely read scholars of the black experience, will be the keynote speaker at the 25th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr./Black History Month Luncheon at the University at Albany. The luncheon will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 11, at noon in the Campus Center Ballroom. It is free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first served.

Marable is professor of public affairs, political science, and director of the newly established Center for Contemporary Black History at Columbia University. From 1993 to 2003, he was founding director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia. Under Marable's direction, the Institute has become one of the nation's most prestigious centers of black scholarship.

His newly established Center is working on several initiatives, including the Malcolm X Project, which is constructing a web-based, multimedia version of The Autobiography of Malcolm X; and the Africana Criminal Justice Project, funded by the Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation), which focuses on strategies to empower ex-prisoners and communities devastated by mass incarceration.

Former distinguished keynote speakers at the Martin Luther King Luncheon include Julian Bond, James Farmer, Randall Robinson, and the late Judge A. Leon Higginbotham Jr.

Other speakers will present lectures throughout the month to help the University celebrate Black History Month. These will be held in Humanities 039 on the academic podium of the Uptown Campus. They are free and open to the public.

  • Wednesday, Feb. 4, 12:30 p.m.: Lisa Thompson of the UAlbany English Department

  • Wednesday, Feb. 4, 1 p.m.: Eddie Knowles, vice president for Student Affairs at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

  • Wednesday, Feb. 11, 12:30 p.m.: Hayward Horton of the UAlbany Sociology Department

  • Wednesday, Feb. 11, 1:30 p.m.: Michael Johnson, superintendent for Albany Public Schools

  • Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2 p.m.: Miki Conn, director of the Hamilton Hill Arts Center in Schenectady

  • Wednesday, Feb. 18, 12:30 p.m.: Breea C. Willingham of the Albany Times Union

  • Wednesday, Feb. 18, 1:30 p.m.: Rev. Robert Dixon of Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Albany

  • Wednesday, Feb. 25, 12:30 p.m.: Vivien Zazzau of the University at Albany Libraries

The University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in nine degree-granting schools and colleges. The University has launched a $500 million fundraising campaign, the most ambitious in its history, with the goal of placing it among the nation's top 30 public research universities by the end of the decade. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit