Author to Speak About Book Chronicling Her Father’s Lynching

Print More

Author Josephine Bolling McCall will speak about her book she wrote about the  true story Of her father’s lynching in the 1947, and what she learned when researching the book. The event will be on Wednesday, June 17 at 7 p.m. at First Parish Church, 35 Church Street, Watertown.

Event organizers sent out the following information:

Just weeks before Christmas, 1947, Josephine Bolling was five years old and learned that her father, Elmore Bolling, just 39 and the father of seven was dead.
Elmore Bolling was a leader in Lowndes County’s black community, had established himself as a man who volunteered to serve the less fortunate and had worked hard to build a small trucking business and provide for his family and others.

In this moving and important book, THE PENALTY FOR SUCCESS: My Father Was Lynched In Lowndes County Alabama, the author tells the story of the murder of a black man in 1940s Lowndes County, Alabama.  It is a story that reveals the scheme to cover up a “lynching”.  Josephine Bolling McCall’s story of her father’s murder presents convincing evidence that he was lynched, although he was  not hanged, mutilated, or burned before a crowd of people.  Elmore Bolling was shot six times in the front of his body with a pistol and once in the back with a shotgun.

After years of research, including interviews with relatives and elderly Lowndes County residents, Josephine Bolling McCall sought and found answers to many troubling questions that she had about her family, especially about events in her father’s life. Her journey of discovery presents a revealing narrative of a time, a place, and a people that challenges us to rethink the reality of life for both blacks and whites in a rural, southern community.

The topic of lynching is still quite relevant in this time of heightened awareness to the long-standing issue of police brutality and murders.  The book can contribute to public awareness more broadly, beyond African American communities, to the long history of this terrible injustice.

The author will be available for a book signing immediately after the presentation.

Co-sponsored by

Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment; World in Watertown, and First Parish of Watertown

Visit us at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *