WHO We Are

Melanated Reads was founded by two individuals from vastly different backgrounds who share a passion for books.  Developing a friendship, they came together to promote literacy, African Diapora enlightenment, education, reading enjoyment and offer the best books. They love what they do!

Yusef Harris is a cornerstone in the Nashville, TN business community. He opened his bookstore in Nashville, TN in 1985 while working on his PHD at Vanderbilt. His store continues to successfully operate and support communities.  Yusef is respectfully known as “The Book Man”.  Mastering the book selection process and forming relationships with numerous publishers he later added distribution.  An avid traveler he is well known in most major cities because he brings and discusses libraries. Yusef is the serious partner.

Zandra Hayes held numerous executive level positions in corporations.  She is certified in Change Management and uses her Customer Service / Delivery corporate experience to assist in setting goals and benchmarking.  She entered the museum community as a store clerk in late 2016 and promoted to store manager a year later.  Minor modifications were implemented, purchasing practices were changed and sales increased.  Reducing the number of vendors and stock merchandise, staff underwent customer service training.   A profitable business resulted. Zandra is very friendly – everyone is her relative in some way.

Hayes and Harris met in 2017 when she began using his book service. Sales immediately increased. The process proved so successful the desire to share led to Melanated Reads.

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