The Penalty for Success: My Father Was Lynched in Lowndes County Alabama

Portrait of Elmore Bolling

AAMLO hosts a lecture by Josephine Bolling McCall followed by a book signing and reception.

Elmore Bolling, a successful entrepreneur, was lynched in Lowndes County, Alabama in 1947. Mr. Bolling is one of the thousands of African-Americans honored in the new lynching memorial (the National Memorial for Peace and Justice), which opened in Montgomery 2017. His youngest daughter, Josephine Bolling McCall, who was 5 years old at the time of his murder, spent years researching what led to her father’s lynching and the impact it had—and still has—on her family and her community for her book, The Penalty for Success.

Mrs. McCall’s research into the true story of why and how her father was murdered challenges us to rethink the reality of life for both blacks and whites in the rural South during Jim Crow where whites used lynching to destroy competition from black business owners as part of a pattern of racial violence that terrorized African-Americans for generations.

Josephine Bolling McCall is a retired nationally certified school psychologist. She was the first black president of the Alabama Association of School Psychologists and the first black person to serve as Alabama’s delegate to the National Association of School Psychologists. After retirement, she served as the Director of the Alabama League for the Advancement of Education. She currently serves as the president of The Elmore Bolling Foundation which she founded to preserve the legacy of her father.

Copies of The Penalty for Success will be available for purchase at the event


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African American Museum & Library at Oakland

659 14th St.
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: (510) 637-0200