In February 1963, when U.S. District Judge William Alsup was 17 years old, he dealt a small blow against segregation near his hometown of Jackson, Mississippi.

By the time he graduated from Mississippi State University four years later, Alsup was an ardent supporter of the civil rights movement. It’s a history he’s been forced to reflect on as a federal judge in San Francisco and the subject of a new memoir, Won Over: Reflections of a Federal Judge on His Journey from Jim Crow Mississippi.

In this Legal Speak episode, Alsup, 73, describes the evolution of his views and how growing up in the South opened his eyes to the cruelty of racism. bureau chief Ross Todd talks with Alsup, a former Morrison & Foerster partner, about the experiences that shaped his attitudes and why he wanted to tell his story.

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