‘Won Over’ by Judge William Alsup

In the newest addition to its catalog of works on the civil rights era, NewSouth Books is pleased to announce Won Over, the story of a boy born in Mississippi to parents who believed in segregation and that boy’s journey, during the epic events of the civil rights movement, over to the right side of history.

His parents, though they believed in segregation, taught him fairness and decency. His older sister taught him to stand up for what was right. The civil rights movement itself helped him see its moral imperative. A college mentor persuaded him that it was not enough to be of good will and that the times required action.

In 1963, he denounced white supremacy and declared for himself and his pals, “We are for civil rights for Negroes,” in a statement published in the statewide newspaper. In college at Mississippi State University, he joined in the Meredith March as it reached Tougaloo College, later squeezed into a packed black church where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., stood in the pulpit, then eventually allied with his college roommate in a legal challenge against the board of trustees of all Mississippi colleges seeking to strike down its ban on all progressive speakers.

That First Amendment challenge succeeded and brought the first-ever African American to address a traditionally all-white campus in Mississippi. That boy graduated from Mississippi State, and went on to Harvard Law School, then to clerk for Justice William O. Douglas, and eventually became a United States District Judge in San Francisco.

What were the influences that moved him, by fits and starts, from the traditional Mississippi views to embracing full equality? What was it like to grow up in the most segregated place in America at the zenith of the civil rights movement?

In Won Over, Judge William Alsup reflects on those questions and on his youth in Mississippi and how it opened, not closed, his eyes to the cruelty of racism.

Won Over will be available in February through your favorite local or online retailer. Retailers, contact Ingram Publisher Services (IPS) at 866-400-5351 or by email at ips@ingramcontent.com, or order via ipage.ingrambook.com. Hardcover; ISBN: 978-1-58838-342-6; 250 pages; $27.95 For more information: http://www.newsouthbooks.com.