Guide to the Thomas C. Fleming Papers

Sean Heyliger
African American Museum & Library at Oakland
659 14th Street
Oakland, California 94612
Phone: (510) 637-0198
Fax: (510) 637-0204
Email: aamlo@oaklandlibrary.org
URL: http://www.oaklandlibrary.org/locations/african-american-museum-library-oakland
© 2013
African American Museum & Library at Oakland. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Thomas C. Fleming Papers

Collection number: MS 131

African American Museum & Library at Oakland

Oakland, California
Processed by:
Sean Heyliger
Date Completed:
02/06/2014
Encoded by:
Sean Heyliger
© 2013 African American Museum & Library at Oakland. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Thomas C. Fleming papers
Dates: circa 1929-2004
Bulk Dates: 1978-2004
Collection number: MS 131
Creator: Fleming, Thomas C., 1907-2006.
Collection Size: 1.25 linear feet (2 boxes + 1 oversized box)
Repository: African American Museum & Library at Oakland (Oakland, Calif.)
Oakland, CA 94612
Abstract: The Thomas C. Fleming papers include photographs, certificates, programs, manuscripts, and newspaper clippings documenting his life and career as a journalist.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Access

No access restrictions. Collection is open to the public.

Access Restrictions

Materials are for use in-library only, non-circulating.

Publication Rights

Permission to publish from the Thomas C. Fleming Papers must be obtained from the African American Museum & Library at Oakland.

Preferred Citation

Thomas C. Fleming papers, MS 131, African American Museum & Library at Oakland, Oakland Public Library. Oakland, California.

Processing Information

Processed by Sean Heyliger, 02/06/2014.

Biography / Administrative History

Journalist Thomas C. Fleming (1907-2006) was born on November 29, 1907 in Jacksonville, Florida. He was raised by his grandmother in Jacksonville until 1916, when he moved to New York City to live with his father, a Pullman porter, before moving to Chico, California to live with his mother in 1919. After graduating from Chico High School in 1926, he worked as a cook and bellhop for the Southern Pacific Railroad. During the 1930s, he began working for the San Francisco black newspaper, The Spokesman, while taking journalism classes at Chico State College.
Fleming was hired as the founding editor of the African American newspaper The Reporter in 1944, which quickly merged with Carlton B. Goodlett’s newspaper The Sun, to become The Sun-Reporter. He worked as managing editor and lead reporter for the Sun-Reporter for over 33 years until his retirement in 1997 at the age of 89. In retirement, he worked on his memoir which was collected in his 1997 publication Reflections on black history.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Thomas C. Fleming papers include photographs, certificates, programs, manuscripts, and newspaper clippings documenting his life and career as a journalist. The papers are organized into three series: biographical material, writings, and artifacts. Biographical material consists of two portraits of Fleming, a certificate and plaque, and three programs from events honoring Fleming. His writings include a 150 page unpublished manuscript about his life growing up in California and career as a journalist, three copies of his self-published monograph, Reflections on black history, and assorted newspaper clipping written by or about Fleming. Artifacts include Fleming’s hat and two smoking pipes.

Arrangement

Series I. Biographical Series II. Writings Series III. Artifacts

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Fleming, Thomas C., 1907-2006.
African Americans--California.
African American journalists--Biography.


Collection Contents

 

Biographical

Physical Description: 3 folders + 1 oversized box

Series Scope and Content Summary

Includes two photographs, certificates, and programs.

Arrangement

Arranged by format.
 

Photographs

Box 1:1

Portrait of Thomas C. Fleming circa 1920s

Box 1:1

Thomas C. Fleming sitting at his desk 1987

 

Programs

Box 1:2

"86th birthday celebration for Thomas Fleming" 1993

Box 1:2

Thomas C. Fleming retirement celebration 1997

Box 1:2

Northern California Center for African American Museum & Life and the African American Museum and Library at Oakland honors Thomas C. Fleming nation's oldest black journalist 1999

 

Certificates

Box 1:3

Congratulations Uncle Tom from: the Jeffrey family undated

Box OM13

The Sun Reporter plaque 1978

 

Writings

Physical Description: 4 folders

Series Scope and Content Summary

Includes an untitled autobiography, three copies of Fleming's Reflections on black history, a draft of his newspaper column, "Weekly report," and assorted newspaper clippings by and about Thomas C. Fleming.

Arrangement

Arranged by format.
Box 1:4

Untitled autobiography [150 pp.] undated

Box 1:5

Reflections on black history [3 copies] 1997

Box 1:6

"Weekly report" undated

Box 1:7

Newspaper clippings 1983-2004

 

Artifacts

Physical Description: 1 box

Series Scope and Content Summary

Includes Fleming's hat and two smoking pipes.

Arrangement

Arranged by format.
Box ART2

Hat undated

Box ART2

Smoking pipes [2] undated