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J.L. Chestnut (December 16, 1930 – September 30, 2008) [1] was an author, attorney, and a figure in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. He was the first African-American attorney in Selma, Alabama, and the author of the autobiographical book, Black in Selma, which chronicles the history of the civil rights struggle in Selma, including Bloody Sunday and the Selma to Montgomery marches.

Chestnut was born in Selma, and attended law school at Howard University. He returned home as Selma's only black attorney, and represented civil rights demonstrators at trial there when the Selma movement began in the 1960s.

He died, aged 77, of kidney failure, after an illness lasting several months.


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