A Daughter’s Moving Story Of Her Father’s Lynching
And A Journey of Discovery.....
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.
“Displaying the intensity of a skilled surgeon, Josephine Bolling McCall uses an assortment of interviews and primary and secondary sources to resurrect in excruciating details the life and turbulent times of her father, Elmore Bolling. Readers will note how the retired educator separates fact from fiction to recount the death of her well-to-do-businessman father during a period of Alabama history many would prefer to forget. “
Dr. Richard Bailey, author: They Too Call Alabama Home: African American Profiles, 1800-1999; Neither Carpetbaggers nor Scalawags; Black Officeholders during the Reconstruction of Alabama, 1867-1878
“Josephine McCall has captured in fascinating detail the story of the tragic Jim Crow era lynching of her prominent-businessman father, Elmore Bolling. The narrative not only provides a moving biography of his life and legacy, it also offers a window into the harsh realities of the segregated South where no laws respected or protected people of color. It is truly a thought provoking and compelling work that has all the trappings (sex, crime, violence, villains, scandals, rapes, murders, infidelity, and interracial relationships) of a great book, documentary, and perhaps even a movie.”
Jerome A. Ennels, Author: Wisdom of Eagles: A History of Maxwell Air Force Base; The Tuskegee Airmen: An Illustrated History, 1939 -1949; Those Daring Young Men