Minn. activist, journalist Mel Reeves dies from COVID-19

Published 5:44 pm Friday, January 7, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS — Mel Reeves, a longtime Minneapolis civil rights activist and journalist for Minnesota’s oldest Black-owned newspaper, has died from complications due to COVID-19.

Reeves was a fixture in Twin Cities activism, advocating for social justice and speaking out against police brutality while serving as the community editor for the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, a weekly Black newspaper that announced his death. He died Thursday after being hospitalized last month with complications due to the virus, the Star Tribune reported. He was 64.

Reeves, originally from Florida, moved to Minnesota in the 1980s, where he spent decades organizing and participating in rallies and community events. News of his death was met with an outpouring of tributes on social media from local activists, journalists and elected officials.

Reeves wrote for the newspaper in the 1980s and returned about a decade ago, where he covered the police shooting of Philando Castile and death of George Floyd. His final article was a recap of 2021 that he wrote from his hospital bed at Hennepin County Medical Center.

In an interview with WCCO-TV the week before he died, Reeves urged people to get vaccinated. He said in the interview that he was not vaccinated due to an issue with blood clots.

Reeves is survived by his son, Kellen, of Waukegan, Illinois, and five grandchildren.