This work represents the contributions and assistance of many people. My mother, June Morehead Marable, encouraged me to write a newspaper column as a teenager growing up in Dayton, Ohio. Both my mother and father, James Palmer Marable, Sr., still read my commentaries in Dayton's local African-American newspaper, and always have something to say about them.
My children--Malaika, Sojourner, and Joshua--have all grown up with "Along the Color Line." Many times we sat at the dining room table, folding the photocopied articles and sealing envelopes. Increasingly, the experiences and activities of my children have been incorporated in my popular writings. These articles always receive the warmest response from readers.
Most of the essays here were written since my appointment as Director of the Institute for Research in African- American Studies at Columbia University in 1993. Daria Oliver, my Executive Assistant, is largely responsible for managing the Institute's flow of activities, meetings, and correspondence. Without her constant help and advice, this book never would have been completed. Cheri McLeod- Pearcey, the Institute's secretary, typed the entire manuscript and its various revisions, and on several occasions offered important suggestions in the text. For several years one of the Institute's graduate assistants, Monique Williams, was responsible for coordinating the column, regularly updating the addresses of our newspapers, contacting editors and publishers, and maintaining a comprehensive clipping file on events and issues in black American politics and society. Monique's dedication to black people, as well as her energy and intellect, inspired everyone around her. Three other graduate students at the Institute--Johanna Fernandez, Devin Fergus, and Timothy McCarthy--were