Black History Month Day 3 Jack Ellis A Small-Town Mayor

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From left to right Harold Michael Harvey and Mayor Jack Ellis. Photo © 2015 Cascade Publishing House

C. Jack Ellis, today I tip my hat to you in observance of Black History Month. You inspired many with your unbeaten run for Mayor of the City of Macon, Georgia, just before the turn of the century. Your tenure in office was so successful that the Georgia General Assembly changed the form of government by consolidating the city and the county to keep you from returning as Mayor of Macon.

There will never be another Mayor of Macon, Georgia. You were the next to the last one. Becoming mayor is quite a legacy for a skinning kid who grew up in Unionville, Especially one who studied from second-hand books after the white kids at Lanier and Miller High School passed them on to you at Ballard-Hudson High. And you served your country well during the Vietnam War era.

I know politics being what it is, you left office unappreciated, maligned, and misunderstood. Your every move called into question. It is always the most difficult on the first, the pioneer, who beats back the weeds and overgrowth, cutting a clear pathway for others to follow.

President Barack Obama could have looked at your playbook before taking office as a roadmap for what he could expect.

You weathered the storms like a true Unionville boy (And I use the term “boy” with affection). Your town may not roll out the red carpet for you, or thank you for your service; but I want you to know, that I am proud of you. I appreciate your service to our hometown. I salute you, C. Jack Ellis, the first and only Black mayor of Macon, Georgia.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round. Contact at https://haroldmichaelharvey.com.

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