Marlene Blake

– Burgaw, NC
Member of an evicted family

Blake talked to us in memory of her brother who recently died, still bitter over their family’s eviction from land used to build Camp Lejeune Marine Base. She described how proud her father was after buying a total of 55 acres of land and a house from money he earned sharecropping with a mule and plow. How devastated he was when the family received an eviction notice giving them one year to leave. How they didn’t have the money to buy another home and lived in a dairy barn with another family when they first left, and how her father returned two days after they moved out only to find their home already bulldozed over. Blake’s family was one of many evicted in Onslow County and her home front story is one that few know about.

In this excerpt, civilian Marlene Blake talks about being evicted to make way for Camp Lejeune on the WWII homefront.