For release: September 20, 2012
For press information, contact Aram Goudsouzian or Daphene R. McFerren, 901-678-3974
The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis has
chosen as this year’s winner of its National Book Award Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention (Viking 2011), by Manning Marable.
Some of the nation’s leading university and commercial presses nominated 25 books
for the Hooks Institute National Book Award. All nominated books were originally
published in 2011. The Book Award Committee, consisting of six professors from various
U of M departments and from other institutions in Memphis, selected five finalists.
They included Serena Mayeri’s, Reasoning From Race: Feminism, Law, and the Civil Rights Revolution (Harvard); Tomiko Brown-Nagin’s, Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement (Oxford); Lawrence P. Jackson’s, The Indignant Generation: A Narrative History of African American Writers and Critics,
1934-1960 (Princeton); and David Margolick’s, Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock (Yale).
The committee considered Malcolm X (Viking) a model for historical biography. Over the course of his life, the man born
Malcolm Little donned “multiple masks.” He was a “hustler,” a prisoner, a preacher,
a celebrity, a villain and a hero. He earned his place in history as a scathing critic
of American race relations, a counterpoint to the nonviolent civil rights movement,
and a voice of black nationalism that stretched throughout the world. Marable deftly
charts Malcolm X’s political evolution, while revealing extraordinary details about
his personal life. Malcolm X was also awarded the Pulitzer Prize in April 2012.
Marable, a longtime professor at Columbia University, died just before the publication
of his masterwork. At a date to be announced later, a representative from Viking
Press will discuss Marable’s biography of Malcolm X at the University of Memphis as
part of the Hooks Institute lecture series.
The Hooks Institute is now accepting nominations for the Hooks Institute National
Book Award for scholarly books published in 2012 that best further our understanding of the American Civil Rights Movement and its
legacy. Detailed guidelines for nominations are available online at www.memphis.edu/benhooks. Nominations for the 2012 Award must be postmarked by December 31, 2012.
In 1996, University of Memphis officials received approval from the Tennessee Board
of Regents to create the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change in the College
of Arts & Sciences. The mission of the Institute is teaching, studying, and promoting
civil rights and social change. The Hooks Institute archives include Hooks’ personal
papers, which are housed in the Mississippi Valley Collection in the University’s