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On March 7, 1965, George Wallace, Governor of Alabama, lined the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma with state troopers to prevent a civil rights march to Montgomery for the black vote. Among those present was a thirty-four-year-old lawyer, J. L. Chestnut, Jr., the only black lawyer in Selma at that time, a man whose own struggle both parallels and exemplifies the growth of the civil rights movement since the early sixties. Journalist Julia Cass met Chestnut while covering the South for The Philadelphia Inquirer and was struck not only by the representative nature of his story but by his deeply perceptive reading of the realities of power and politics in the South. The result of their collaboration is Black in Selma, Chestnut's extraordinary autobiography.