Black Boss
Political Revolution in a Georgia County

John Rozier

The Story of John McCown and Hancock County


“Rozier presents a masterful job of research.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Rozier’s personal and family ties, that he says go back to the county’s founding in 1793, add an insight and compassion that an outside researcher could never achieve.”
Augusta Chronicle


John McCown was a black civil rights worker who achieved great political power and whose career, and life, ended in a swirl of controversy. In 1968, Georgia’s Hancock County became the first county in the United States since Reconstruction to come under black political control, in large part because of the charismatic leadership of McCown, who secured millions in grants from the Office of Economic Opportunity, the Ford Foundation, and the East Central Committee for Opportunity.

Eight years later, McCown’s regime ended with his dramatic death and indictments against McCown and his associates on various charges of defrauding the government. Black Boss details the rise and fall of McCown and the continuing effects of his abuse of power on the people of Hancock County. It is a story that Rozier says shows “the good and evil that dwell in us all.”

Page count: 232 pp.
Trim size: 6 x 9

Read more about Hancock County at the New Georgia Encyclopedia.


List price: $26.95

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John Rozier was a native of Hancock County and served as director of Public Information Services at Emory University. He is also author of The Houses of Hancock, 1785–1865 and editor of The Granite Farm Letters: The Civil War Correspondence of Edgeworth & Sallie Bird (Georgia).