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  • The Commonwealth Club 110 The Embarcadero San Francisco, CA, 94105 United States (map)

Monday Night Philosophy investigates the painful reality that succeeding in business is not always an advantage in America. Josephine Bolling McCall's father, Elmore Bolling, was a successful entrepreneur in Alabama. He was lynched outside Montgomery in 1947 when the author was five years old. In her book, The Penalty for Success, McCall tells the story of her father’s murder and the impact it had—and still has—on her family and her community. After years of research, including interviews with relatives and elderly Lowndes County residents, McCall found answers to many troubling questions. Her journey of discovery presents a revealing narrative of a time, a place and a people, challenging us to rethink the reality of life for both blacks and whites in the rural South during Jim Crow. Elmore Bolling was murdered because he was too prosperous to be a black man in Alabama. Even though he was not hanged, mutilated or burned in front of a crowd of people, he was “lynched” by being shot six times in the front of his body with a pistol and once in the back with a shotgun, reinforcing the legacy of racial terror that has yet to be adequately addressed in America.