Leah Fleming

Morning Edition Host

Leah Fleming’s passion for local public radio journalism and exciting news partnerships is what brings her to Macon. She joined GPB in 2013 following six years at WLRN-Miami Herald News, in Miami, where she served as a reporter and All Things Considered anchor before being named deputy news director.

Prior to her time in South Florida, Leah worked as Morning Edition host/reporter at WABE Public Radio in Atlanta, Georgia. There she was acknowledged for her work including an award from the National Association of Black Journalists for her interview with professional boxer Laila Ali. Leah fell in love with the art of radio during a summer internship in college. Since then she has reported, produced and anchored news programs at several stations, including WAMC Northeast Public Radio in Albany, New York, and WJCT Public Broadcasting in Jacksonville, Florida. Leah has also worked at NPR in Washington as a producer and mentor with NPR’s Next Generation project. Raised in New York, Leah holds a Master of Science degree in communication arts.

Ways to Connect

 

Coretta Scott King was not just the wife of the late civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. She was also an accomplished activist in her own right.

 

She traveled the world and advocated for racial and social equality for people of all walks of life.

 

In 1968, the same year her husband was assassinated, Scott-King founded the King Center, which has served as a base of operations for modern day activism.

 

 

 

 

FLICKR

There were two big stories that made headlines involving sex trafficking in Georgia last week.  In Savannah, a man was convicted of 19 counts of child sex trafficking. 

In Sandy Springs, police broke up a human-trafficking operation inside a million dollar home. Eight women were rescued and one man was arrested in connection with the crime.

 

Atlanta has a reputation as one of the worst sex-trafficking hubs in the country. But how widespread is the problem?

: Taylor Gantt

The Harlem Globetrotters are one of the most storied basketball teams in history.

They have been combining athleticism, theater and comedy for over 90 years.

 

But they've also been responsible for promoting change in the sports world by way of their unique act on the basketball court.

We sit down with "Buckets Blakes" to talk about the legacy of the team and the changes they've experienced over the years.

The Globetrotters are headed to Atlanta this weekend for a pair of games on Saturday.

PBS

As college students make spring break plans, many are still buzzing about President Trump’s new executive order that moves the Initiative for Historically Black Colleges and Universities under the jurisdiction of the White House.

 

 

Trump says the move will help galvanize support for struggling HBCUs. But the details and benefits of the move are still yet to be seen.

 

 

FLICKR

On this day in 1977, country music star Jason Aldean was born in Macon.  

 

His hometown loves its native son and will show that love by renaming a downtown street “Jason Aldean Way.”  

Aldean’s career includes six platinum albums and 18  #1 singles, including his song, “A Little More Summertime.”

After his latest hit album, "They Don't Know," Aldean will be up for several big Academy of Country Music Awards, including Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year.

 

KICKSTARTER

On this day in 1971, Rozonda ‘Chilli’ Thomas was born in Atlanta. She would grow up to become one-third of the group TLC. The trio is famous for a number of memorable hits, including the song, "Creep," which won a Grammy in 1996.

 

 

Outside of her music career, Thomas has worked as an actor, a reality TV star, and a fitness guru. She also founded the organization Chilli’s Crew, a group that helps young girls deal with self-esteem issues.

PINTEREST

February is a time to celebrate influential figures in African-American history. And our guest today is certainly one of those trailblazing figures.

PINTEREST

Today’s music minute features a member of one of Georgia’s most popular bands. Coy Bowles of the Atlanta-based Zac Brown Band was born on this day in Thomaston in 1979.

MUSIX MATCH

We go to Lovejoy, Georgia today to celebrate the birthday of Kokomo Arnold, who was born on this date in 1901. Born James Arnold, Kokomo regarded his career as a recording artist secondary to his work as a bootlegger. 

 

As we celebrate the contributions of African Americans this month, we salute a Georgia native son on his birthday: Kokomo Arnold of Lovejoy.

 

 

FLICKR

One of the ways African-Americans have shared the pain and the pleasure of the black experience is through music.  

 

Black artists have been an essential part of almost every genre of music. And black songs are often catalysts for change and enhanced public awareness.

FLICKR

Computer Science students at Morehouse College are working on a project to help save young minority men from incarceration.

They have created a tool that uses visualization technology to help organizations analyze data from more than 200 youth facilities nationwide. The goal is to help these detention centers determine the most effective reform methods so resources can be allocated more efficiently.

 

BET

DeKalb County elections officials could decide today how old you have to be to run for office in the new city of Stonecrest.

Mary-Pat Hector is a 19-year-old Spelman College student who is running for a seat on the City Council. But one of her opponents in this crowded race filed a complaint last month with the DeKalb County elections board, citing Mary-Pat’s age as a disqualifying factor. 

 

We sit down with Mary-Pat Hector to discuss her current situation, why she wants to run for office, and her background as a young activist. 

   

FLICKR

Each week during Black History Month, we will bring you a discussion centered around African American issues. In this episode, we discuss the role of black women in society and the difficulty of being a double minority.

 

We sit down with Stephanie Sears of Clark Atlanta University. She is an adjunct professor of Africana Women’s Studies. We discuss some of the issues facing black women today, what steps can be taken to achieve greater equality, and the idea of the “Angry Black Woman.”

This week President Trump signed a “two-for-one” executive order that says for every new regulation that government agencies pass, two old ones must be eliminated. Trump says the action will help small and large businesses succeed. 

To learn more about regulations and the effect they may have in Georgia, we sit down with Antonio Saravia. He’s an assistant professor of economics and director of Mercer University’s BB&T Center for Undergraduate Research in Public Policy and Capitalism.

FLICKR

February is Black History Month here in the United States. Since 1976, every president has set aside the month to honor and remember African American history.

But is designating one month just for Black History appropriate? We tackle that question in the first part of our series about Black History Month.

 

We discuss this idea with Daniel Black. Black is an award-winning novelist and an African American Studies Professor at Clark Atlanta University. 

 

PIXBAY

The city of Stockbridge has voted to ban smoking inside vehicles when children are present in a 3-2 vote during Monday night’s council meeting.

The trend towards banning smoking in vehicles where children are passengers is growing.  According to the Public Health Law Center there are eight states plus Puerto Rico that have such bans.  Georgia is not one of them.

 

  • Christmas is only a few short days away.

You're listening to the sultry sounds of singer Gertrude Pridgett. But she's better known as "Ma Rainey: The Mother of the Blues." She recorded over 100 cuts for Paramount Records, including this song, "Black Eye Blues." 

WIKIPEDIA

On this date in 1966, singer Chris Robinson was born in Atlanta. He's best known as the charismatic frontman of the Black Crowes and for hit songs like the 1991 hit "She Talks To Angels."  

Black Friday gun sales set a new record this year. According to the FBI, licensed firearm dealers filed over 185,000 background checks on that day alone.  

 Gun owners across the country say women are a driving force in that sales growth. And women are designing products to make it easier and more fashionable to carry concealed firearms. 

ITUNES

 This week, Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane performed for NPR Music in their Tiny Desk Concert series. His mini set list comprised of three tracks, including  this song titled "First Day Out." Today, Gucci is releasing his tenth studio album, "The Return of The East Atlanta Santa.

Taylor Gantt

Atlanta is home to a number of big time musical artists, including College Park's own 2 Chainz. But many of these musicians have aspirations outside of the recording studio.  

Unbeknownst to many listeners, 2 Chainz has a passion for food. He's the author of the cookbook #MEALTIME. And this week, he's opening up a new restaurant in Atlanta called Escobar. 

FLICKR

On December 8, 1956, 11-year-old  Atlanta native Brenda Lee released her first single, "I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus."

Lee was one of the top vocalists of the 1960s, singing pop and country music. But she is perhaps best remembered for another holiday classic, "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree." 

The song has endured as a holiday standard for more than 50 years. Happy holidays to Atlanta’s “Little Miss Dynamite," who is still on tour at age 71. 

PIXBAY

The foster care population in Georgia has spiked over the past three years. Last month, The New York Times reported that the number of kids in protective care has nearly doubled since 2013. To date, Georgia has the fastest growing foster care population in the country.  

GPB's Leah Fleming speaks with Bobby Cagle, Director of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, about the growing number of kids in Georgia's foster care system. 

FLICKR

Soul-singer Otis Redding is known for a number of unforgettable tracks. But one song is considered to be his biggest hit: "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay."    

This month, the hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest returned from a 20 year hiatus with their new album "We Got It From Here, Thank You 4 Your Service."

The album debuted at number one on the Billboard charts and features the late rapper Phife Dawg, who passed away earlier this year.

GPB SPORTS

 The high school football playoffs are currently underway across the state. And GPB has you covered on all the big matchups. GPB Sports host Jackie Brittain joins us to talk about the upcoming playoff matchups and why Georgia is such a hotbed for high school football. 

@pokemonsymphony

Fans of the popular Pokemon series are rejoicing today. Nintendo has released the latest pair of games in the series, "Pokemon Sun" and "Pokemon Moon." And if you can't get enough of the collectible pocket monsters, there's a musical event this weekend that you'll definitely want to check out.  

Georgia voters will decide on November 8 whether the state can take over failing schools. Amendment 1 is a plan by Republican Governor Nathan Deal, in which an appointed superintendent accountable to the governor could add up to 20 low performing schools to an opportunity school district each year and either convert them into charter schools, overhaul management or close them.

The majority of schools that could be taken over are in high-poverty areas with minority students.

So, how will you vote on Amendment 1? 

Latinos make up the largest ethnic minority group in the United States, and their concerns are playing a major part in this year’s presidential election.

Between 2012 and 2016 just over 3 million more eligible U.S.-born Hispanic voters are now qualified to go to the polls. That’s according to new Pew Research Center data. 

Add to that another 1.2 million people who’ve become citizens since the last general election and the impact of the Latino vote could be enough to turn some traditionally red states, like Georgia, blue or purple.

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