Bi­den, Har­ris speak with fam­ily of Ja­cob Blake

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY CLARE PROCTOR, STAFF REPORTER cproc­tor@sun­times.com | @ce­proc­tor23

Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Joe Bi­den and run­ning mate Sen. Ka­mala Har­ris, D-Calif., talked to Ja­cob Blake’s par­ents and one of his sis­ters for about an hour Wed­nes­day, his fa­ther told the Sun-Times.

Bi­den brought noth­ing but “love, ad­mi­ra­tion, car­ing” and em­pa­thy to the phone call, Ja­cob Blake’s fa­ther said. He added that Bi­den told them he un­der­stands what it’s like to un­dergo fam­ily tragedies — Bi­den’s first wife and daugh­ter died in a car crash in 1972, and Bi­den’s son Beau died of brain can­cer in 2015.

“All he did was of­fer his sup­port,” the elder Ja­cob Blake said. “He was 100% real.”

The con­ver­sa­tion in­cluded mem­o­ries of when the se­nior Ja­cob Blake met both Bi­den and Har­ris on sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions. He met Bi­den at the age of 8 at an event be­cause his fa­ther — and Ja­cob Blake’s grand­fa­ther — was a civil rights ac­tivist and min­is­ter in Evanston.

The se­nior Ja­cob Blake, who at­tended Win­ston-Salem State Univer­sity, met Har­ris, who at­tended Howard Univer­sity, at an event for his school’s home­com­ing football game in the 1980s. Both schools are his­tor­i­cally Black col­leges.

“It res­onated that [Bi­den] was able to bridge a gap,” the elder Ja­cob Blake said. “Good peo­ple that are lead­ers un­der­stand that the only way to get next to a con­stituent, the fastest way, is to make your­self re­late to that per­son.”

Ja­cob Blake’s surgery Tues­day night was suc­cess­ful in al­le­vi­at­ing some of his pain, his fa­ther said, but he’s still par­a­lyzed. The elder Ja­cob Blake was go­ing to the Mil­wau­kee hos­pi­tal Wed­nes­day to see his son for the first time. When he ar­rived in the city Tues­day, he wasn’t able to see his son be­cause of the surgery.

“God’s given me what I asked,” his fa­ther said. “All I asked from God is, ‘If you see fit, let my son live.’ ”

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