The Thirtieth Laurel Wreath Wearer [1980]

George James Fleming [Baltimore (MD) Alumni Chapter] was born in St Croix, Virgin Islands on February 15, 1904. Because education in the Virgin Islands beyond the eighth grade was difficult, Fleming migrated to New York to continue his education. He matriculated at Hampton Institute, earning an AB degree [1926]. Fleming also earned a BA degree from the University of Wisconsin [1931), and MA and PhD degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in 1944 and 1948.

While attending Wisconsin, the members of the local chapter of the Delta Sigma Rho speech fraternity elected Fleming a member. However, an anti-Negro clause in the national constitution prevented the chapter from initiating him. The chapter spearheaded an action that led to the removal of the clause in April 1935. Although Fleming was no longer a student at the University, he became the first Negro member of the fraternity effective as of 1931.

Fleming began his professional career as a news editor [1931-33] at the Journal and Guide newspaper in Norfolk, [VA]. The paper was owned by P. B. Young and was one of the leading Negro. In 1935, he moved to New York to become news editor [1935-37] of the Amsterdam News. Founded December 4, 1909, the paper was a major source of national and local Negro news. In 1936, it become the first Negro newspaper to unionize. In 1939, he moved to Philadelphia to become managing editor [1939-41] of the Philadelphia Tribune newspaper. Founded in 1884, the Tribune is one of the oldest Negro newspapers in the nation.

In 1941, Fleming left the paper to become a regional director [1941-45] of the Presidental Committee on Fair Employment Practices, and was responsible for the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Established by Executive Order 8802 on June 25, 1941, the purpose of the Committee was to promote the utilization of all available manpower and to eliminate discriminatory employment practices.

Fleming was active in the Quaker movement. In 1945, he became Secretary for Race Relations [1945-1950] of the American Friends Committee. He returned to New York, in 1952, to become news director at the WLIB radio station and news editor at the Amsterdam News. In 1954, he resigned both positions to become a Professor at Morgan State University. Fleming established the Institute of Political Education at the University and retired from the University in 1974.

Fleming was a social activist. In 1941, when A. Philip Randolph threatened a March on Washington, Fleming organ;zed a March in Philadelphia. His effort led to the employment of Negroes as trolley car conductors and motormen by the city. While serving on the faculty at Morgan State, Fleming was a memb r of the Baltimore Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He was a president of the Maiyland Association of Public Administrators, and chairman of the Morgan State University Board of Regents [1976-80]. He was also a member of the board of trustees of the College of the Virgin Islands.

Fleming was a guest lecturer at numerous institutions and author of the "All Negro Ticket in Baltimore" [1960] and "Why Baltimore Failed to Elect a Black Mayor" [1972]. He was also the editor of Who's Who in Black America, where he appeared in each edition published since 1952.

Fleming was a November 1935 initiate of the Howard University Chapter, the Xi of Kappa Alpha Psi. In 1937, Grand Polemarch Mann appointed Fleming the second editor of the Kappa Alpha Psi Journal, from which he retired in 1952. Fleming was active with the Baltimore (MD) Alumni Chapter from the time of his arrival in Baltimore [1954]. He was a participant in activities at the Province, and national levels, and was the Awards Program speaker at the 61st Grand Chapter meeting [1977] in Denver [CO].

His extra meritorious service to the Fraternity, particularly his 15 year tenure as the Journal Editor, earned him the 30th Laurel Wreath.

Laurel Wreath Wearer Fleming died in September 1990.

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