Leah Fleming

Morning Edition Host

Leah Fleming is an award-winning radio host and correspondent.

You can hear her greet you to each weekday morning on 88.5 GPB Atlanta’s Morning Edition from NPR News.

Leah is a familiar voice on public radio having hosted morning and afternoon programming in Atlanta, Albany, New York, Jacksonville and Miami, Florida.

Leah says her passion for diversity in public radio is what keeps her in the genre.  Her goal for Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Morning Edition is to offer the listener a unique experience of news, culture and trends of interest to African Americans and other diverse groups in the greater Atlanta area.  She believes that listeners, no matter what their ethnic make-up, find value in content that explores and celebrates all cultures.   

Leah joined GPB in 2012 following six years at WLRN-Miami Herald News, in Miami, where she served as All Things Considered anchor before being named deputy news director.

Prior to her time in South Florida, Leah worked as Morning Edition host 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 has also worked at NPR in Washington, DC as a producer and served as a mentor with NPR’s Next Generation project.

Raised in New York, Leah holds a Master of Science degree in communication arts.

Ways to Connect

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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.

Youtube.com/ZacBrownBand

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.

PIXABAY

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.

This late August is hot and we don't just mean the temperature!  There are several events happening all over Macon and Middle Georgia that will have you loving this last bit of summer.  

Local harpist Betsy Fitzgerald and the Huffington Post's film critic Jackie K. Cooper have a list of fun ideas.

Listen to the studio conversation below!

Here are Betsy’s items for this week:

Russian to the Finnish

GPB

Middle Georgia is popping this weekend with "Mary Poppins" and the one night music festival that is Bragg Jam!

Huffington Post film critic Jackie K. Cooper and local harpist Betsy Fitzgerald are here with their lists of things to do this weekend.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Throughout his tenure, Governor Nathan Deal has pushed for criminal justice reform, including education and occupational training behind bars. That has more felons going from cell block to firehouse.

In the middle of Chester, a rural town about an hour from Macon sits the Dodge State Prison. Ride through the open gate and you see the typical looking prison surrounded by barbed wire.

But to the left is a firehouse complete with two bays where shiny red trucks sit pointed towards the road.

Gordon’s Mayor Mary Ann Whipple Lue is still on the job after a tumultuous two years as the town’s first woman and African American mayor.  Also, a new law in Georgia is changing the way police appear before a grand jury.  Each week journalists Charles Richardon of The Telegraph and I talk about the hot topics on the minds of Middle Georgians. 

HOT TOPIC #1:

Noemi Griffin / GPB Macon Intern

Summertime fun has arrived in Middle Georgia!  Huffington Post film critic Jackie K. Cooper and local harpist Betsy Fitzgerald stopped by the GPB Macon studios this week to share some events to get you out this month.  Listen to the conversation above.

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