Mission to Malawi

Memoir of an African American Peace Corps Volunteer, 1967–1969


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About the Book

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.

About the Author(s)

John E. Fleming served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi from 1967 to 1969. He 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.

Bibliographic Details

John E. Fleming
Foreword by Patricia A. Wand
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 227
Bibliographic Info: 41 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9349-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5129-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword by Patricia A. Wand  1
Preface  5
Chapter One
­Pre-Departure  9
Chapter Two
My First Year in Malawi  18
Chapter Three
Second Year in Malawi  142
Chapter Four
Departure Home  199
Epilogue  211
Index  217