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David A. Blake Jr (1918-2000)

David Blake
David Blake, 1949

Rev. David Addison Blake Jr., was the son of noted AME Church elder and Ann Arbor Bethel AME minister David Addison Blake Sr. Blake married Ruth Theresa Reglski in 1943 and enlisted in the United States Army in 1940. In 1944, while serving in World War II as a Lieutenant, he wrote and published the sheet music to a song titled “When The War Is O’er, Mom,” which he dedicated to Unit II, Ann Arbor, of the MOMS (Mothers of Men In Service) of America. Blake was a graduate of Ann Arbor High School and Wilberforce University in Ohio. He completed his conference extension course in ministry in 1948 and briefly served as minister of the Isabelle Rogers Memorial AME Church in Willow Village. In 1949, he transferred to the Carey Chapel AME Church at Monroe. 

In addition to his ministry work, Blake was also one-time president of the Willow Run branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and in March of 1949, was appointed “liaison officer on matters of segregation, civil rights, housing and related matters” for the NAACP’s “Committee to End Discrimination.” Earlier, in March of 1947, he accused the Federal Public Housing Authority of discrimination for not allowing the congregation to purchase a church site on the government project. Later that same year, in September 1947, he was instrumental in leading parents and children in protest against alleged segregation at the Willow Run schools. Blake ran on the Progressive ticket for Michigan State Representative, Second District, in 1948.

In 1943, Blake married Ruth Theresa Reglski. Ruth was a homemaker, secretary of the local chapter of the NAACP in the mid 1940s, and later president of the Interdenominational Ministers Wives of Chicago and Vicinity, as well as a member of Eastern Stars, Silver Link Chapter No. 139 in Harvey, Illinois. The couple's children are David A. Blake III, Mavis Ellis, Benjamin Blake, and George Blake.

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