Statesboro Mayor Jonathan McCollar has written, published and released publicly his first book, “People Over Politics” which has been the theme of his political campaigns. The book is a memoir of “A Mayor On Fire.”
The book is written by Mayor McCollar and published by Amazon Press.
Amazon describes the book: “People Over Politics: The Memoir of A Mayor On Fire is the riveting story of the life of Mayor Jonathan McCollar and his journey to becoming the first African American for the city of Statesboro, Ga. This work encapsulates the spirit of Mayor McCollar’s honest and transparent form of governing while giving an in-depth look into his life. In this work he puts everything on the line and shares his brightest and darkest moments in his life. This book is a testament to how one imperfect person can become the vessel for a movement in a small Southern town.”
Long, Difficult Journey to Become Mayor
In “People Over Politics,” Mayor McCollar takes readers on a deep, honest dive into his past and what it was like growing up as a poor black child in Statesboro, Georgia.
He writes the book in a conversational and story telling style. It provides an honest look at the difficulty and obstacles presented throughout his life. To say nothing has been easy for this driven, passionate leader would be a gross understatement.
“At the end of the day I want people that I represent as Mayor to know who I am and understand my journey. My hope is that by sharing my story I can inspire others who are in a dark place,” said Mayor McCollar. “I want anyone who reads this book to know that bad situations are temporary. You can make a difference in not only your life, but also in the lives of the ones you care deeply about.”
Growing Up in Statesboro
Mayor McCollar describes what it is like to be born out of wedlock to his 14-year-old mother Patricia Robins, who grew up alongside him. He lived in a home with three strong women, whom all had a great impact on his life. They included his mom Patricia, his grandmother Virginia McCollar and his great grandmother Stella McClouden.
McCollar’s great-grandmother Stella is the one who had the most influence on his childhood. His family owned Emma Lee’s (also known as McClouden’s Cafe) a restaurant and bar on Grady Street Extension in the city. In fact, his family has deep roots in our community, stretching back over 200 years.
As a means to save money he would wear his clothes two days in a row to save money from the laundry mat, he received food from the food bank and lost four friends tragically at different periods in his life. Two of these friends were his classmates who drown in the Blitch Street pool. This drowning was the impetuous for the closing of the pool and the demise of an important park in our community.
Ironically, this is the same park, as Mayor, he is overseeing the construction of a new, modern pool, basketball courts and play ground equipment. His efforts are bringing new life and opportunity for children in the same neighborhoods he struggled to find good things to do to keep him out of trouble.
McCollar experienced first hand what it was like as a child to travel dangerous paths on his bike to find entertainment and visit friends. He traveled in areas of town that had been neglected without basic amenities like sidewalks or proper drainage to prevent flooding.
As Mayor he is now leading the way to install sidewalks and signage so children can travel safely to and from their neighborhoods.
Mayor McCollar knows first hand the powerful dividends paid back to a community which chooses to invest early in all of the children of our community and help create opportunities for them and paths for success.
“Sidewalks on the westside and basic infrastructure is not there. Leaders and citizens make the city what it is, good or bad,” said Mayor McCollar. “These neglected areas of town are our citizens neighborhoods. The same people who work on the GS campus to make it beautiful and pristine go home to neighborhoods that have been ignored. We can and will do better than this.”
SHS Graduate Class of 1992
Like most things in McCollar’s life, school presented a challenge to him. Especially in his high school years. He actually was a bright student who pretty much found the academics easy until he entered a college track at SHS. He struggled and find his way and even repeated a grade.
McCollar shares the difference teachers and male role models made in his life both in high school and in college. He talks about his special relationship with the late Coach Lee Hill at Statesboro High School. A school that now, thanks to the Mayor, is located on a street named for Coach Lee Hill as a tribute for all he did for the Mayor and so many others. Thanks to Coach Hill, McCollar worked to not only graduate from high school, but graduate on time with is class.
After high school he moved to Albany to attend Albany State University and later returned to Statesboro to finish his degree at Georgia Southern University. While at GS, Dr. Saba Jallow and his wife Renata Newbill-Jallow both were great influences on his life. Not only did Mayor McCollar finish college, but he holds a Masters in Public Administration.
Purchase Book Online
The 175 page book not only gives you a unique insight into Mayor Jonathan McCollar’s past, but it also defines what has driven him to make a powerful difference he has made in his first term as Mayor.
You can purchase “People Over Politics” on Amazon by clicking here.