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Decades of service net Classic Parade honor for Scales family


As the Southern Heritage Classic Orange Mound Parade winds it way through familiar territory, the Scales family will be honored for the integral role its members have played in the community’s ongoing resolve. Special to the Tri-State Defender

Amazing families with an undeniable passion for a thriving community have helped Orange Mound roll with the social punches that have challenged – but never broken – the collective spirit of the nation’s first African-American neighborhood completely built by African-American families.

Cynthia Scales and her husband, Shelby County Sheriff’s Department Chief Inspector Larry Hill, at the 2010 Classic Parade, presented each year by the Orange Mound Parade Committee as a salute to the Southern Heritage Classic. For Time and route, see page 5. (Courtesy photos)

The White House was on the itinerary for Bobbie Scales (left), a 2011 White House Community Leader, and Cheryl Scales during a visit to Washington, D.C.


Scales Jr.



And as the 2011 Southern Heritage Classic Orange Mound Parade winds it way through familiar territory, one family, the Scales family, will be honored for the integral role its members have played in the community’s ongoing resolve.

In the 1890s, the old Deaderick plantation gave way to the Orange Mound subdivision, For more than seven decades, the Scales family has been a community-wide source of inspiration. During the parade, family members will serve as marshals, the first time a family from “The Mound” will fill that role.

 “Orange Mound is a sacred treasure in this city and this nation,” said Scales family matriarch Bobbie Scales. “The Scales family is proud of this honor from our community.”

At least one Scales has graduated from Orange Mound’s Melrose High School every year since 1950, including six queens of the Melrose Court and one Mr. Melrose, Brian Scales.

Five decades of the Scales family from across the country will be present at the Orange Mound Parade. Throughout the years, the family has demonstrated a powerful sense of national service, loyalty in working careers and entrepreneurship.

“We try to walk the talk because to whom much has been given, much is required,” said Cynthia Scales Hill, whose Allstate Insurance business is within three miles of “The Mound.”

There is evidence aplenty – restaurants, mini-car washes, the Scales Dairy, Scales Landscaping – to make the case that the Scales family has followed up on those words in their personal and professional lives.

Bobbie Scales was selected as a 2011 White House Community Leader and has attended White House briefings. She and her husband, Jimmie Scales Jr., continue to show their devotion to Orange Mound, rebuilding the house that was home for 42 years before it was destroyed by fire.

Another family entrepreneur, Darryl Scales, operated a successful comedy club with the late and legendary Bernie Mack.

Jemiah Scales operates a thriving mobile commercial and residential business.

Cordia Glenn is a successful real estate broker with Keller Williams.

Cheryl Scales operates an award-winning marketing agency that promotes celebrities throughout the country. She even has ties to Michelle Obama, having been the First Lady’s mentor during their undergraduate studies at Princeton University.

A 2009 Tri-State Defender Women of Excellence honoree, Cynthia Scales  Hill for years has partnered with the Orange Mound Collaborative on initiatives to further develop Orange Mound.

“Our family tradition of giving back is…legendary,” said Scales.

Among the indications that the family’s devotion to Orange Mound will be ongoing are plans to create The Scales House of Hope. The purpose? House the homeless and disabled veterans, and provide job skills training.

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