Remembering George James Fleming: Family, Career, and Death



George James Fleming was born on February 15, 1904 in Bassein Triangle, Christiansted, St. Croix, Danish West Indies (now US Virgin Islands) to parents Alexander Fleming and Ernestine Jackson Fleming. His primary education began at the Moravian Day School at the Centre Mission because public schools on St. Croix did not extend beyond the ninth grade. In 1920, at the age of 16, he left home for Virginia to attend Hampton Institute Academy (now University). In 1926, he graduated as valedictorian. Fleming earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and the Phi Beta Kappa key from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1931.

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At Howard University in Washington, D.C., he was initiated into the Xi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. in 1935. He became the second editor of the Kappa Alpha Psi Journal three years later, in 1938.


Fleming moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1942, and enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League institution, where he earned a Master of Arts degree in Applied Economics in 1944. Following that, he worked with the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization, while studying for his Doctor of Philosophy degree, which he received in 1948. His dissertation was titled The Management of Fair Employment Practice Programs. Fleming stepped down as editor of the Kappa Alpha Psi Journal after completing his Ph.D.

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In 1950, Fleming was the supervising editor of the Seventh Edition of Who’s Who in Colored America. He was the editor of the New York Amsterdam News and a contributor to the Journal & Guide Newspaper in Norfolk, Virginia two years later, in 1952. Fleming was offered a position as a professor at Morgan State College in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1954. He also founded and ran the Morgan’s Institute for Political Education, which received a $103,000 grant from the Ford Foundation.

Fleming married Hazel Hampton, a Baltimore School System social worker from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1956. In 1960, he published An All-Negro Ticket in Baltimore, Eagleton Institute Cases in Practical Politics. One year later, in 1961, he was a co-planner in the establishment of the College of the Virgin Islands (now the University of the Virgin Islands), and in 1966 he was elected to its Board of Trustees as well as the Board of Regents of Morgan State University.

Why Baltimore Failed to Elect a Black Mayor was one of Fleming’s more well-known works, published in 1972 by Washington, D.C.’s Joint Center for Political Studies. Fleming retired in 1974 and was named Professor Emeritus of Political Science. From 1976 to 1981, he chaired the Morgan State Board of Regents and was the Director of the Institute for Political Education until 1996.

Dr. George James Fleming died on August 1, 1990, at his home in Cockeysville, Maryland, of liver and heart disease. He was 86.



Written by How Africa News

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