JACKSON MADISON COUNTY 

AFRICAN AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

CONTRACTOR BOBBY COLE WINS 

2018 JEWEL AWARD ON FEB. 23RD

On February 23rd, the African American Chamber bestowed business awards in four categories.  In addition to Jewel Award winner Bobby Cole, the other three winners were Ruby Award winner Carlida Watson of 4-year-old Watson’s Cleaning Service, Diamond Award winner Ndeyefatou “Mamy” Toure of 10-year-old Mamy’s Hair Braiding and Art Boutique, and Emerald Award winner Terrell Warlick of  20-year-old I’ll Do It Improvements. 

Award categories are based on the age of the business: 1-5 years for the Ruby Award, 6-10 years for the Diamond Award, 11-20 years for the Emerald Award and 20+ years for the Jewel Award.  After nomination, business owners must submit a portfolio for judging.  A total 10 nominations were received. 


Award presenters were  2017 winners Dr. April Wilson Smith and Tia Jones of Loving Arms LLC and Robert Hodges of Futurlistic Barber and Beauty Shop in addition to Dr. Jerry Woods, president of the 100 Black Men of West Tennessee.

 This year’s Historical Pioneers segment highlighted the Civil Rights Movement.  Emcees Gloria Sweet-Love of the Tennessee State NAACP and State Rep. Johnny Shaw of Bolivar and WOJG Radio recognized two elected officials -- the late Frank Ballard, the first Black elected to the Madison County Court (now known as the Madison County Board of Commissioners), and current Commissioner Claudell Brown, the first Black appointed to the Madison County Commission’s Finance Committee. 


 Other Historical Pioneer honorees were activists Clarence Boone, his wife Louise May Boone, Shirlene Ross Mercer (represented by daughter Tina Mercer) and Judith Batchelor Greer.  These four “living legends” are the reminder of 24 Jackson residents/college students who marched and were arrested the Election Day March on November 8, 1960.  According to The Jackson Sun, 144 marchers, largely Lane College students, were arrested. Each marcher was fined $5 which was paid by Black business owners in Jackson.  Clarence Boone said that $5 was a lot of money in 1960.  “We didn’t have that kind of money,” he emphasized.  “We were students.”


 In another look at the Civil Rights Movement, the African American Chamber presented a video presentation on Tent City, the encampments of Blacks evicted from their homes in Fayette and Haywood counties in 1960 for attempting to vote. The tents – donated by a yet unrevealed white individual -- were erected on land owned by Blacks.  The Black landowners included Shepherd Towles and Gertrude Beasley in Fayette and others in Haywood County.  According to one report, 300 Haywood County families and 400 Fayette County families received eviction notices and were ordered to move by January 1, 1961.  According to historians, Tent City provided the catalyst for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1960.


Founded in 1999 as the African American Business Coalition, the Jackson Madison County African American Chamber (JMCAACC) is located at 351-C North Royal St., Jackson, TN 38301 – 731-424-2030.   The organization can be found online at www.jmcaacc.org as well as on Facebook and Twitter. ###.

2017 Business Award Winners

Ruby Award 1-5 Years In Business)

LOVING ARMS LLC


Diamond Award  (6-10 Years in Business)

FUTURLISTIC BARBER & BEAUTY SALON


Emerald Award (11-20 Years in Business)

SEARS HOMETOWN STORE - MILAN


Jewel Award  (20+ Years in Business)

F & B AUTO SALES

Runners Up:   C King & Sons Construction, Michelle's Magical Treasures


2018 Business Award Winners

Ruby Award 1-5 Years In Business)

WATSON'S CLEANING SERVICE


Diamond Award  (6-10 Years in Business)

MAMY'S HAIR BRAIDING AND ART BOUTIQUE


Emerald Award (11-20 Years in Business)

I'LL DO IT IMPROVEMENTS


Jewel Award  (20+ Years in Business)

COLE CONSTRUCTION



2015 Historical Pioneer Honorees

Jackson's Music Heritage


Frank Ballard
Big Maybelle (Mabel Louise Smith)
Christine Chatman
Dave Clark
Rev. Cleavant Derricks

Ruby Falls (Bertha Bearden Dorsey)
Joe  Hunter
Luther Ingram
The Jacksonians
Farris Lanier Jr.
Laurice Lanier
Denise LaSalle
Joseph McKinney
Kurl McKinney
John Parrish
Phillip Reynolds
Gil Scott-Heron
John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson

JACKSON, Tenn. --    The Jackson Madison County African American Chamber of Commerce (JMCAACC) presented Bobby Cole of Cole Construction with its highest honor, the Jewel Award for businesses 20-plus years old, at the 17th Annual JEWEL Awards Banquet held February 23 at Oman Arena in Jackson.  

Cole, 80, said receiving the recognition was “wonderful, just wonderful.”  During the past 41 years, Cole Construction has worked across Tennessee and in bordering states providing concrete, asphalt paving, lot clearing and tear-down services – in short, all construction services, except building.

 “We don’t build,” said Cole, as his crew busily paved a parking lot in Bolivar, Tenn. earlier today.

Entertainment for the Jewel Awards Banquet featured American Idols Lil Rounds and Keia Johnson.  Individually, they sang a mixture of old school R&B, for example, Sam Cooke’s  A Change is Gonna Come sung by Johnson, and contemporary hits, such as Bruno Mars’ Locked Out of Heaven sung by Rounds. 

Entertainment sponsors were Toyota Bodine Aluminum and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee.  Other sponsors were City of Jackson, West Tennessee Healthcare, MIG Steel Fabrication, Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA), Lane College and First Bank along with media sponsors 96KIX, Jammin’ Jackson 97.7, The Jackson Sun, Lamar Advertising, WOJG-FM, and the CSE News.