Columbia University, Viking Press and the estate of Manning Marable face a potential lawsuit over assertions in Marable’s posthumously-released biography of Malcolm X, “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention.”
Lawyers representing a key figure in the biography, in a “cease and desist” letter to the publisher May 23, challenged the characterization of Linwood Cathcart, a Malcolm X colleague in the Nation of Islam.
The letter from Cathcart’s attorney Mark Fury threatened legal efforts “not by any means necessary, but by all available means at law or equity.”
In the book, Marable implicates former Nation of Islam Minister Linward X Cathcart in the murder of Malcolm X. Cathcart and his lawyers strongly refute the claim and said that New York police and FBI investigators “dismissed him as a potential suspect.”
“Your author, Manning Marable, knowingly printed false allegations, misleading statements and made glaring omissions that clearly defame Mr. Cathcart, injure him and his family, and even put him and them at risk of physical harm,” Fury wrote.
Fury said that Marable got several facts in the book wrong, including the fact that the men shared a girlfriend named Sharon Poole.
Marable said in the biography that Poole and Cathcart lived together. , Fury claimed that she rented an apartment in his house for years with her husband, while Cathcart lived there with his wife of 40 years.
Fury said his client wants the books removed from stores and corrections made immediately.
“Therefore, please be advised that should you fail to remove the book from shelves and make the necessary corrections immediately, I shall seek to enjoin your further distribution of the book and punitive damages, not by any means necessary, but by all available means at law or equity,” Fury wrote.
Despite these claims, Marable received many kind words at his death. NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous said Marable was “one of the keenest intellects of our age to the contemporary conversation on race in America.”
Marable’s good friend, Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, told the AFRO that it was time that the world gave Marable “his due” and that “a giant has fallen.”