September 28, 2005
BY CHRIS KUCHARSKI
FREE PRESS SPECIAL WRITER
Hugh C. Cleage
Printer, political activist
Former Detroit political activist Hugh C. Cleage, 87, died Thursday after a long battle with bladder cancer at his home in Anderson, S.C., where he had spent the last few years supervising the ranch and riding stables of his nephew, Dr. Ernest Martin.
One of the organizers of the Black Slate and a candidate for Michigan state representative in the 1964, he was a member of one of Detroit’s most politically influential families, which included his brother, the late Rev. Albert Cleage Jr., founder of the Shrine of the Black Madonna.
He was born in Detroit, graduated from Northwestern High School in 1936 and later earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Michigan State University. As conscientious objectors to World War II, he and his brother Henry chose farming as an alternative to military service.
In the early 1960s, he became co-owner of the Illustrated News, which he ran with his brothers and other citizens. The paper was distributed free to black churches.
The Black Slate, which evolved from that publication, sought to educate Detroit’s black voters and urged them to support black candidates.
As a member of the Freedom Now Party, Mr. Cleage ran an unsuccessful campaign for state representative in the 23rd District. It was said to be the first all-black political party.
Mr. Cleage retired to Anderson in the early 1990s.
He is survived by sisters Barbara Martin, Gladys Evans and Anna Shreve, and many nieces and nephews.
A private memorial will be held Friday in South Carolina, followed by a public service at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Shrine of the Black Madonna, 7625 Linwood, Detroit. Memorial contributions may be made to the Salvation Army, 16130 Northland Drive, Southfield 48075.
For more posts about Hugh click Skating Champions, Elections Past, Hugh with Friends,
For more sepia saturday offerings click here.
14 thoughts on “A boy and his dog – Hugh Cleage”
What an interesting man. Enjoyed reading about him skating. You're lucky you got to watch him in action.
Ladies in the grove
That’s a lovely picture of little Hugh; he seems somewhat anxious. Is there someone else looking from the window too?
Small boy, looking very serious!
That's acute picture of Hugh and dog. I can't decide what his expression means. Maybe he is having a hard time holding on to the dog.
Great picture. Even at that young age he looks like he's got some fire in him.
Little Nell, there is someone looking of the window, but I think it's next door.
He is so cute. The dog is almost as big as he is. He had a long and productive life. Must have been a well respected man.
Started out as such a cute little guy! He led an interesting and wonderfully productive life! Thanks for sharing his story!
I wonder who or what had caught their attention off camera. Uf he had let go the dog would have been away to find out.
i cam here knowing i'd find satisfaction. you've done it again, picture-wise. as fas as the story goes, it's even more amazing!! given his political ambitions and the idea of an all-black party (which is still utopic to this day unless it would open up to the hispanics, two great minorities together would have more weight, and more votes, enough in many places to be decisive), i wonder what he would say about your current president… any thoughts, not about Obama himself since he wasn't really visible back in 2005, but the whole idea of a president other than a wasp!?
a truly great post!!
You have such a great collection of unposed family photos. Absolutely wonderful. And what a full life Hugh led.
I agree, a great collection – thanks for sharing. That dog is raring to get something.
Great snapshot! The child in the window adds to the beautiful captured moment.
@ticklebear I do need to post more about the freedom now party. there was one chinese member of the party. when obama was running and won i really wished my parents, my uncles, my grandparents could have seen that. even though i never thought he would "save us" it was still pretty emotional for me.
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