Manning Marable was born in Dayton, Ohio on May 13, 1950. In 1968, he served as the local black newspaper's correspondent and marched along with thousands of others during the funeral procession for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He received a bachelor's degree from Earlham College in Indiana, a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin and a doctorate from the University of Maryland. He wrote around 20 books during his lifetime including How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America, The Great Wells of Democracy: The Meaning of Race in American Life, Speaking Truth to Power: Essays on Race, Resistance and Radicalism, and Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. He was a professor of African American studies, history, political science and public affairs at Columbia University. He died from complications of pneumonia on April 1, 2011 at the age of 60.
Mumia Abu-Jamal is an award-winning journalist & author of two books, "Live from Death Row" & "Death Blossoms", which address prison life from a critical & spiritual perspective. In 1981 he was elected president of the Association of Black Journalists (Philadelphia chapter). His 1982 murder trial & subsequent conviction has raised considerable controversy & criticism for alleged constitutional violations & other improprieties. In spite of his almost two-decade long imprisonment on death row, Abu-Jamal has fought for his freedom & for his profession. He holds a BA from Goddard College & an MA from California State University, Dominguez Hills. His books have sold more than 100,000 copies & have been translated into seven languages.
Ronald L. Jackson II is a professor of media and cinema studies and the head of the African American studies department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Murali Balaji is an assistant professor of mass communications and the director of the Mass Communications Center of Excellence at Lincoln University.