Civil Rights Icon And Local Pastor Harry Blake Dies

Apr 9, 2020

Pastor Harry Blake
Credit Courtesy: Pastor Harry Blake Facebook

CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER  -  A civil rights icon and local pastor in Shreveport has died.  Dr. Harry Blake pastor emeritus at Mt. Canaan Baptist Church,  died Wednesday, according to several media reports, Pastor Blake was exposed to the Coronavirus and was ill.  His daughter had recently spoken with the Shreveport Times and explained  that the cause had not been confirmed but that had been  improving.

Blake’s childhood was spent on a Louisiana plantation in the 1930s and 1940s.  He went on to become a leader in the Civil Rights movement in Shreveport and joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1960 after hearing a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at Bishop College in Texas, where he was a student.

Pastor Blake was badly beaten by Shreveport Police during a peaceful  demonstration  at  Little Union Baptist Church in 1963 and received death threats during those times.

CIVIL RIGHTS ICONS - Pastor Harry Blake (ctr) with former Ambassdor Andrew Young (L) and C.O. Simpkins (R) during a gala honoring Simpkins in 2018.
Credit Courtesy: Chuck Smith / Red River Radio News

A post on Pastor Blake’s Facebook page says: he served the Mt. Canaan Baptist Church for more 52 years. Pastor Blake was a recognized icon in the Civil Rights movement that led to justice and equality for many.

The Reverend Harry Blake was 85 years old.