“Our elevation must be the result of self-efforts, and work of our own
hands. No other human power can accomplish it.
If we but determine it shall be so,
it will be so.” – Martin Delany
Robert Fleming‘s writing career started in earnest with an editorial job for Encore Magazine, a news publication, in the late 1970s, covering involuntary sterilization of young black women in several Southern states, a nuclear accident at Three Miles Island, medical experiments conducted on patients on East Coast medical sites and a car tour of the Deep South, where he interviewed for poor black families in rural Alabama and Mississippi, spoke with plantation owners in Georgia and Louisiana about their abuse of tenant farmers and conducted a late night talk with a group of hooded Klansmen outside of Anniston, Alabama. This series got his journalism national attention notice and earned him a scholarship to Columbia University’s noted School of Journalism.
After his tour of duty at the “J” School, he worked for a time with former CBS News president Fred Friendly, former boss of the legendary Edward R. Morrow, as a staff writer for the PBS TV show, Media and Society. A chance meeting at one of the show’s taping got him a job as a reporter at the New York Daily News, covering crime, business, politics, and the courts, throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s. While there, he learned the world hard New York news from the street up, earning a New York Press Club, a Revson fellowship and several other honors.
In 1991, he retired to write and teach. He published work in several publications such as Omni, U.S. News and World Report, BookPage, Publishers Weekly, The New York Times and Washington Post. Robert acted as an editor and book doctor for Ballantine Books during that time on several books including those by Johnny Cochran, Kwesi Mfume, Deborah Tannen, Faye Wattleton, among others. Also, he taught two courses, Journalism for a New World and Media and The Black Experience at the New School from 1997 to 2002.
As a writer, he wrote two young adult books, Rescuing A Neighborhood: The Bedford-Stuyvesant Volunteer Ambulance Corps and The Success of Caroline Jones Inc. My other books included: The Wisdom of the Elders (1996), The African American Writer’s Handbook (2000), After Hours (2001), Intimacy (2002), Havoc After Dark (2004) and Fever In The Blood (2005).
Robert ghost wrote Step by Step, a memoir of Bertie Bowman, a veteran U.S. Senate official, with a foreword by former U.S. President Bill Clinton. It was published by Ballantine/ One World in 2009.