"Being black is an inheritance. Being a nigger is a state of mind." Born in a roach-infested tenement in South Philadelphia, on the streets by age four, a gang member by age nine, and in reform school by age twelve, Carl Upchurch's life epitomized the tragedy of inner-city America. Incarcerated for the sixth time, he was confined to solitary with only a table and chair for company. Propping up the leg of one table was a book, which, out of sheer boredom, he picked up and read: "Shakespeare's Sonnets." So began his transformation from a hopeless hoodlum, lacking respect for himself, for others, for human life in general, to a self-educated advocate for urban peace and justice. "Convicted in the Womb" is the story of how Carl Upchurch overcame his abject youth to become a radical civil rights activist, culminating in his organizing the first Gang Summit for Urban Peace and Justice in Kansas City. It is also an urgent call for change. Outspoken in his criticism of Jesse Jackson, the NAACP, and other icons of the established civil rights movement., Upchurch argues that it's time for a new generation of leaders, drawn from the masses, not the elite. He also outlines a grassroots New Black Power Paradigm to overcome America's political, economic, and athletic apartheid.