Criminal Justice Reform Series: Restorative Justice for Lynching – A Daughter’s Story

A moderated discussion between Josephine Bolling McCall, whose father was lynched in Lowndes County Alabama in 1947, and Rose Zoltek-Jick, professor and Associate Director of the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project at Northeastern University School of Law.

Moderated by Reverend Marta Morris Flanagan, minister of the First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington

Event held on November 4, 2018.

Co-sponsored by First Parish Unitarian Universalist, Arlington and Church of Our Savior, Arlington.

About the participants:

Josephine Bolling McCall
It was 18 days before Christmas, 1947. Josephine Bolling (Jo) was a happy five year old in Lowndes County Alabama. Her father, Elmore Bolling, was a 39 year old successful entrepreneur, philanthropist, husband, and father of seven children. That was the day Elmore Bolling was lynched. The perpetrators were known but not pursued or apprehended. The remaining family fled in terror. Jo grew up, married, had children, and became a school psychologist and community activist. When she retired she spent the next ten years researching the circumstances of her father’s death and its aftermath. She then wrote a book, “The Penalty for Success: My Father Was Lynched in Lowndes County, Alabama” to document these events. She also placed a marker at the site of her father’s lynching. The marker was vandalized several times. Jo formed a small non profit foundation to secure the marker with a fence and lights. As time went by the Foundation began to support tutoring and scholarships for children of Alabama ‘s Black Belt.

In 2011 reconstruction era schoolhouse was donated to the Bolling Foundation in order to protect and restore it.

Rose Zoltek-Jick
Professor Zoltek-Jick, Associate Director of the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project (CRRJ), has taught at the School of Law for more than 30 years, specializing in criminal law and procedure, evidence, and law and psychiatry. Her academic writing has focused on statutes of limitation, cold cases, and civil lawsuits by adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Marta Morris Flanagan
Marta is a religious liberal, a theist, a feminist, and a lover of the woods. As a student of American history at Smith College she was captivated by the stories of social reformers who were motivated and sustained by their faith. That led her to consider the ministry and to study at Harvard Divinity School from where she was graduated in 1986. She was the first woman minister in the city of Salem, Massachusetts, serving at the First Universalist Church there (1987-1997). She served in a co-ministry at South Church (Unitarian Universalist) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, (1997-2005) from where she is minister emerita. Marta served as interim minister in Montpelier, Vermont (2008-2009). She is trained as a spiritual director. For three years she lived in the Vermont woods practicing voluntary simplicity and the spiritual life.

Malia Crawford
The Reverend Malia Crawford joined Church of Our Saviour in November 2011. She previously served as curate at Grace Church in New Bedford, Massachusetts, where she focused on small group ministries, community organizing, and ministry with children. Malia graduated from MIT with a bachelor of science degree in mathematics in 1996 and shortly thereafter joined the Peace Corps. She received her master’s of divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School in 2005. Malia’s passions include welcoming newcomers, pastoral care, Christian formation, and community involvement and outreach. She and her spouse, Amy, have one son.

For more information about attempts to document the legacy of lynching, Jim Crow and mass incarceration please see: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/a-national-memorial-confronts-the-terror-of-lynching, https://crrj.northeastern.edu/, https://eji.org/

For more information on the Black Belt of Alabama: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Belt_(region_of_Alabama)

Lowndes County: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lowndes_County,_Alabama, https://www.zinnedproject.org/materials/bloody-lowndes, https://www.zinnedproject.org/materials/bloody-lowndes/