Melvin Jones (Courtesy photo)

by Florence Howard —

An outspoken, unapologetic and bold champion for minority businesses. That, said a friend of 20-plus years, describes Memphis Black Business Directory founder/CEO Melvin Jones, who died Monday (11/16/20).

Attorney Carlee McCullough, former Contract Compliance Officer for the City of Memphis during the administration of former Mayor Dr. W.W. Herenton, shared that reflection. Jones worked behind the scenes, said McCullough, making things happen for other people.

And, she said, Jones, a graduate of Cornell Law School, often was unappreciated.

Funeral arrangements for Jones, who also served as interim editor of the Tri-State Defender, are pending.

Business owner Alandas Dobbins, former director of the Memphis Office of Resources and Enterprise and another of Jones’ longtime friends, recalled his dedication to increasing the city’s spending with minority-owned businesses and his success in that endeavor as chairman of the Minority Business Development Oversight Committee organized by then Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.

NOTE: The New Tri-State Defender still is reporting on this story. Check back for updates and read this week’s print edition.