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An inspiring memoir of one man’s transformation from a delinquent, drug-dealing dropout to an award-winning Harvard educator through literature and debate—all by the age of twenty-seven.
Brandon P. Fleming grew up in an abusive home and was shuffled through school, his passing grades a nod to his skill on the basketball court, not his presence in the classroom. He turned to the streets and drug deals by fourteen, saved only by the dream of basketball stardom.
When he suffered a career-ending injury during his first semester at a Division I school, he dropped out of college, toiling on an assembly line, until depression drove him to the edge. Miraculously, his life was spared.
Returning to college, Fleming was determined to reinvent himself as a scholar—to replace illiteracy with mastery over language, to go from being ignored and unseen to commanding attention. He immersed himself in the work of Black thinkers from the Harlem Renaissance to present day. Crucially, he found debate, which became the means by which he transformed his life and the tool he would use to transform the lives of others—teaching underserved kids to be intrusive in places that are not inclusive, eventually at Harvard University, where he would make champions and history.
Through his personal narrative, readers witness Fleming’s transformation, self-education, and how he takes what he learns about words and power to help others like himself. Miseducated is an honest memoir about resilience, visibility, role models, and overcoming all expectations.
Brandon P. Fleming is the assistant coach of debate at Harvard University and founder of the nationally acclaimed Harvard Diversity Project. In 2020, Fleming was recognized by Forbes magazine on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Fleming was also recognized by The Root magazine as one of The Root 100 Most Influential African Americans in 2020.