MISSION TO MALAWI by John E. Fleming (Malawi)


A new book —

Mission to Malawi — Memoir of an African American Peace Corps Volunteer
by John Fleming (Malawi 1967-69)
McFarland Publisher
May 2024
227 pages
$19.99 (Kindle); $29.99 (Paperback)


John Fleming (Malawi 1967-69)

Unlike the vast majority of Peace Corps volunteers in the 1960s, John Fleming was a young Black man who was assigned to an all-white agricultural project in Malawi, an emerging African country surrounded by White-ruled Southern Rhodesia, Mozambique, and South Africa. John wanted to be a missionary in Africa, but was put off by his encounters with self-serving White missionaries. The Civil Rights and Black Power movements influenced his world view while navigating life in an African country still controlled or greatly influenced by racist Whites.

This memoir is a moving story of coming “home” to Africa, where the author developed deep friendships with his Malawian neighbors and colleagues. The author relates his first Christmas spent with a Malawian family, where he was served termites; the ordeal of climbing the highest mountain in Malawi; and his battle with thousands of soldier ants. He also describes his experiences in the neighboring countries of Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda.


John has published four other book, and  has spent more than five decades as a director of major museums of African American history, including the National Afro-American Museum and Culture Center, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and the National Museum of African American Music. He lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio.


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