Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What Is Race? Part Two: My Mother, Race Relations Advisor

Littie Nash
Littie Nash

My mother was my most effective race relations adviser. 

"Do your best at what you do you," my mother said. "You are responsible for that. If you don't do your best, you can only blame yourself. Doing your best may not change the way some people treat you, but doing your best goes a long way toward the way you feel about yourself. And you are the only person you really need to impress."

My mother did not lavish me with compliments and I do not fault her for that. She  believed compliments and accolades should be reserved for special achievements. She reserved celebrations for real accomplishments and occasional birthday parties. My mother loved me even if she didn't compliment my every move. As an adult, I understand that she was teaching me independence and confidence in my own abilities. 

"You know what you have done," she always said. "Let that knowledge--be it good or bad--serve you. Good and you can repeat whatever it was. Bad and you can cease with it."

I admit, when I was a little girl listening to all her wisdom, I was mostly confused. But I realized early in my life that compliments were not to be thrown around because I dragged myself out of bed before noon on Saturday or because I made straight-A report cards. 

"Some things, like making good grades, you have to do," she said. "And those things pass, not without notice, but without an all-day hullabaloo. I notice," she said."Do you?"

Not that I really wanted to do all the things Littie insisted I do, my mother sponsored my piano, ballet, tennis and swimming lessons, dance performances, recitals, literary and classical music club memberships, summer camps, school trips and science fair exhibits, still managing to squeeze out of our tight budget money for the dentist to install braces on my teeth. She did her best with little to start with; I was not a prize! 

Rosa Parks Arrest Montgomery Bus Boycott 1955
Rosa Parks Arrest
Montgomery Bus Boycott 1955

It took courage and imagination during the Jim Crow era for my mother to give me what I needed. 

My mother schooled me about life in the American South and made me read about Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. I could tell by looking around the neighborhood that jobs for African Americans were scarce and good jobs were mostly nonexistent for them. Black men were economically and politically marginalized.

Black women were publicly disrespected on a routine basis. I'm not at all sure how they got along back then. I was there and I have little memory of a day-to-day routine that was executed with grace and dignity. 

"Look what Rosa Parks is doing for you," my mother told me when I was six years old and in first grade. "What are you going to do for her?" 

I had no idea what the right answer to that question was, but I didn't have to wait for very long to find out. 

"You are going to go to school and do the best you can. And I don't mean kind of your best or just good enough! I mean your best! You are a little colored girl and you are going to have to do everything better than just good enough, better than good! You are going to have to do very good! Better than very good! The best you have in you!"

Montgomery Bus Boycott 1955-56 - Woman Hitchhiking
Woman Hitchhiking
Montgomery Bus Boycott 1955-56
I wonder sometimes how I would have dealt with racial humiliation indefinitely or if I would have learned to fight the system like Rosa Parks and other women of her time. My mother had her own way of fighting the Jim Crow system. She was fighting it with me as her primary weapon. 

By the time I graduated from high school, it was against the law to do to me what was customary treatment for black women only a couple of years earlier when I was a child and people stared at my mother and me in department stores and shook their heads when we asked to try on a garment. In the cheap stores, we were not allowed to try on apparel and discouraged from touching it. I couldn't understand why those shabby dresses were considered so precious that we couldn't try them on or even touch them without sneers from the sales ladies. 

"The policy does not state you can't try on the dress," my mother explained, pulling me out of a store on day. "The policy is that you can't use their fitting room."

"If we can't use their fitting room," I asked. "Where are we supposed to try the clothes on?"

"One old sales biddy suggested I strip down in the store and try on the bad-cut suit because she knew no self-respecting lady would do that," my mother said. 

"What?" I was shocked.

"And if you buy their sheeny mammy-made outfits," my mother said. "You can't bring them back!"
Former Edges on the Corner, Bryan, Texas
Former Location of one of the Better Stores

My mother shopped a lot through mail-order catalogs. Our postman, Mr. Walton--the first black U.S. Postman in our town--was not fond of our shopping habits, having to carry all those packages in all kinds of weather, but he was always nice, not because his wife and my mother were good friends or because his wife was my first-grade teacher or because I was best friends with his son, Charles, but because Mr. Walton had a job to do. 

Mr. Walton knew, being our town's first black postman, he had to do that job better than anyone else would have. Being the first meant that his superior performance could open doors for the next black postman. 

When the money situation in our household improved, my mother was able to shop at the more expensive stores, where there was no fitting-room policy. In the better stores, we could try on clothes like other human beings, although we couldn't buy as many items as we could have at the cheap stores. My mother said, the better stores didn't have a fitting room or no-return policy because they didn't expect to have a black clientele. 

"The good stores don't mind taking our money," she said. "As long as we conduct ourselves properly and do not come in hooping and hollering, pulling all the garments off racks, dragging them floor, stepping on them, destroying the displays, leaving the store wrecked and acting like...well, you get the idea. Let's go shopping!"

Our shopping habits changed when my mother started her little food business in our kitchen providing meals for some ill older patients she cared for as a practical nurse. She made healthy ingredient substitutions so the dish tasted like the dish to which the patient was was accustomed. Eating well, they thrived. Doctors saw improvements in their health and began requesting that my mother make special foods for their other patients. My mother took an idea and her talent with food and changed our lives. 

"Good enough is not good enough for me," my mother said. "And if never learn anything else from me, learn that!"

My mother taught me what race was and what race was not.  

Read more about my mother in my blog posts: 
Littie Nash, one of the great thinkers

  • She believed that ignorance was an illness that could only be cured by learning. 

Great Mothering in Jim Crow's World

  • "People can learn on their own if they know how to read," she said often. 

College Education Was my Mothers Plan

  • "You do not have to go to college to learn and be educated. But goin to college may help you get a better job."

In the 1990s, I wrote columns for Hearst and Knight-Ridder newspapers--stories from my childhood with my part-Comanche grandmother during the Civil Rights Movement. Texas A&M University published a collection of the stories about which Robin Fruble of Southern California said, "Every white person in America should read this book! Sunny Nash writes the story of her childhood without preaching or ranting but she made me realize for the first time just how much skin color changes how one experiences the world. But if your skin color is brown, it matters a great deal to a great number of people. I needed to learn that. Sunny Nash is a great teacher," Fruble said.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

What Is Race? Part One: Conversations With My Mother

Is it ethnicity? 

Is it skin color?

Is it bloodline? 

Is it national origin

Is it family heritage? 

Is it a choice?

Italian Immigrants
Italian Immigrants

Race and racial classification became so blatant in the United States during the early 20th Century that dark-skinned Italians were classified as a different race from light-skinned Italians. 

Italian Immigrant Farmers, North Carolina
Italian immigrants with light skin were generally from northern Italy and were thought by American society to be and also thought themselves to be more closely associated racially to the French and Germans than to their dark-skinned southern Italian brethren. And there was a class difference between southern and northern Italians. 

"Are they white?" I asked my mother about the people who operated the corner store a little ways from where we lived when I was a little girl.

"They think they are," she said. "And they are trying to convince the rest of us that they are so the real white people won't treat them so bad."

"The real white people? Who are they?"

"The ones who have been here long enough to convince everybody that they are white."

"What? That's not true! My friends aren't trying to convince me they're white! They're my friends!"

"Do they go to school with you?"

Italian Immigrant Farmers, 1910

"Have you every been inside their house, other than to use the telephone?"


"Well, then," she said. "They are not your friends! And they do not treat you like a friend! They treat you the same way rich people where they come from treated them before they left that place!"

The difference in the way people were treated back then and still today was based not only on the to tone of their complexion, but on economic class and high rates of poverty among some Southern Italians, hence, their reason for wholesale immigration to America in the first place.

"Once those people are here, they clamber for their children to reach the upper class," she said. "And they are not going to let your little black tail get in their way!"

Browns Mills, New Jersey, U.S.A. September 1910

Notes: "Victoria Borsa, 1223 Catherine St., Philadelphia. 

4 year old berry picker. Brother 7 years old. While I was 

photographing them, the mother was 

impatiently urging them to "pick, pick." 
Photo: Lewis Wickes Hine. Digital ID: 00062.Contributed by: 
Courtesy of the Library of Congress
The southerners came to American as a poor class looking for opportunity. Northern Italians were generally coming with money. So, the class difference that began with color was punctuated with a dollar bill. In order to earn passage to America, many Southern Italians who came with few financial resources were forced to indenture themselves and their families directly from Italy to work on plantations, landing them in the Mississippi Delta and other parts of the Deep South, arriving in the after slaves had been emancipated. 

This was a time when farm laborers were scarce with African Americans abandoning plantations for freedom in the cities. Many people have no knowledge of the history of Italians in Mississippi

Rochester Eldridge Bog, Massachusetts

September 1911

Notes: "Abbe, said 10 yeas old who picks 

10 pails a day. Also two young Italian illiterates." 

Photo & Notes: Lewis Wickes Hine No. 00135.
Contributed by: Courtesy of the Library of Congress/ PPOC
Although many Italian immigrants came through New York's Ellis Island, many were indentured from that location into the American Deep South where farm workers were needed or they were recruited into slave-like conditions on large farms with overseers in the nearby Garden State of New Jersey or the large berry farms of Delaware and Massachusetts, many farms running very similarly as the southern plantation had before emancipation. 

Unlike white-skin northern Italian immigrants, allowed opportunities to create wealth once they arrived in America, dark-skinned southern Italians were treated as second-class alongside the Negro, the Mexican, the Indian and any other dark-skinned person and forced to work at hard physical labor until they could moved out of farm work.

In some cases dark-skinned people were legally classified as "colored" to make it more difficult for them to assimilate into mainstream communities. Therefore, for several generations, they remained in separate communities, churches, schools and families. This was particularly true in the Jim Crow south where the white ruling class used dark skin as a mark of inferiority and a convenient excuse to perpetuate discrimination and segregation onto another group.

"How do you know all this stuff?" I asked my mother. "Are you making it up?"

"I don't have to make up the truth," she said. "These are well-known facts."

She was right, of course. And when I grew up and understood the world better, I learned the truth for myself. People are not always the way they seem and it is not their fault sometimes. We are a product of our environment and our history. It takes great effort, investigation, study and experience to get past that.

"You watch what happens when you get about 12 years old," she said. 

"What will happen?"

"I don't want you mixing with them any more than their folks want them mixing with you."

"How do you know they want to mix with me?"

"Believe me, they're having the same conversations as ours," she said. "Although there's been a lot of  mixing going on for a very long time now."

Encyclopedia of African American Society, Gerald D. Jaynes
Gerald D. Jaynes
of African American Society
In the Encyclopedia of African American Society, Gerald D. Jaynes, editor of the two-volume reference and professor economics and African American Studies at Yale University, wrote on page 455, "In the rural South dark-skinned immigrants from Sicily often worked as sharecroppers or laborers on plantations alongside African Americans and they were treated similarly by employers." 

In Colored White: Transcending the Racial Past by David R. Roediger, one Italian immigrant interviewed by a Louisiana scholar remembered the early twentieth century as a time when "he and his family had been badly mistreated by a French plantation owner near New Roads, Louisiana, where he and his family were made to live among the Negroes and were treated in the same manner."

Colored White: Transcending the Racial Past by David R. Roediger
David R. Roediger 
Colored White:
Transcending the Racial Past
In fact, when I was growing in Texas in the 1950s and 1960s, there were many second and third generation Italians whose families had managed to escape the farms, save money and open stores in black neighborhoods. By this time, although many of the parents had darker complexions than mine, they had begun the process of gene bleaching their offspring.

By pairing with fair-skinned Italians, and marrying into white families, their children were lighter-skinned than them, a practice long practiced in some African American and other ethnic groups with dark skin going all the way back to the plantation and early America. Because lighter skin had a better chance for better treatment and success in the United States, it was a common practice. Everybody knew that! 

Chicago Soup Kitchen Opened by Al Capone 1931
Wikipedia, Creative Commons License
During the Great Depression, Native-born, former slave and immigrant families who were already entangled in tenant farm agreements were further victimized by the crashed economy and unable to pay their farm debts so they could leave the sharecropping system. Many ran away, leaving in the dead of night with their few belongings. Finding work in other locations, however, was impossible at that time with hungry people filing into cities looking for free food, public relief and charity handouts. 

Jobs had become scarce for all workers and especially for Italians and other recent immigrants, who were customarily subjected to increased discrimination and bigotry in times of economic distress. So, like former slaves, some unfortunate farm workers, including Italian and white sharecroppers, stayed on plantations where they could get a meal, even though, the meal cost them their freedom and held them in virtual slavery by the dishonest bookkeeping of farm owners who operated in the same fashion as before the Civil War. The difference was the workers were not exactly slaves; they were in debt to the farm store, a predicament also shared by a large number of poor white families who owned no land. 

Immigrants, who earned their way off of plantations, got jobs or opened businesses in Vicksburg, and sent their children to Catholic school where they could learn English and get an education. Most of these immigrants, unwelcome to reside in white neighborhoods and send their children to white public schools, lived among middle-class African Americans and sent their children to Catholic schools that also enrolled black students. The Delta's dominant class considered immigrants undesirable for assimilation because of immigrants' dark complexion, foreignness of their customs and former cotton-picker status, regardless of the white racial classification these immigrants may have claimed. 

My Italian friends and I, and they were and still are my dear friends, took a respite from each other around the time of puberty, encouraged by parents on both sides. We did not resume our friendship until we were all adults with spouses and children when the danger of mixing had passed. My mother was right, after all.

    Bigmama Didn’t Shop  At Woolworth’s  Sunny Nash

Hard Cover

Amazon Kindle
Sunny Nash author of bigmama didn't shop at woolworth's
Sunny Nash
Sunny Nash is an author, producer, photographer and leading writer on U.S. race relations. She writes books, blogs, articles and reviews, and produces media and images on U.S. history and contemporary American topics, ranging from Jim Crow laws to social media networking. Sunny Nash is the author of Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's (Texas A&M University Press), about life with her part-Comanche grandmother during the Civil Rights Movement.

Sunny Nash’s book is recognized by the Association of American University Presses as essential for understanding U.S. race relations. Nash's book is also listed in the Bibliographic Guide for black studies at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York; and recommended for Native American collections by the Miami-Dade Public Library System in Florida. Nash uses her book to write articles and blogs on race relations in America through topics relating to her life--from music, film, early radio and television, entertainment, social media, Internet technology, publishing, journalism, sports, education, employment, the military, fashion, performing arts, literature, women's issues, adolescence and childhood, equal rights, social and political movements--past and present—to today's post-racism.

ushistory.org homepage

© 2015 Sunny Nash. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
~Thank You~

Sunny Nash – Race Relations in America

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Jim Crow in Southern California

Twelve African American women helped destroy Jim Crow tradition in Long Beach, California, and helped to change Jim Crow laws in the South.

Evelyn Knight 
Marched with King

Thought racism only occurred in the American Deep South? Wrong. Racism occurs wherever race matters enough to change the way people treat each other. 

"I remember when we were refused service in Long Beach restaurants," said Evelyn Knight, who marched from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  "I was sitting in my living room in Long Beach, California, when I heard Dr. King on television calling folks to action. After Bloody Sunday, he said he needed help! It didn't matter that I had a good job at that time. I told my employers I had to go to Selma. It didn't matter to me what they said. And I packed my bag, boarded an airplane and flew south to do my part to win the vote for my people down there!"

In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson 

Signed the Voting Rights Act in 1965.

"Going to Alabama to march with Dr. King from Selma to Montgomery," Knight said. "I knew I was helping to change more than Alabama; I was helping to change the South and also Long Beach. After President Johnson signed that voting rights legislation to make sure my Alabama people got the vote, I went back that following year and worked to register them!" 

A new exhibition, BREAKING THROUGH Lighting the Way, will chronicle the life of Evelyn Knight and the lives of 11 other African American female legends who made a difference in history and culture of Long Beach, California. The exhibition of historic photographic restorations, document reproductions, artifacts, and ancestral papers will open Tuesday, September 29, 2015, at 3:00 p.m. in the Atrium Center & Theater in Long Beach Public Library off of City Hall Public Plaza, 101 Pacific Ave., Long Beach, California. Beginning at 2:00 there will be a Press Conference in the Miller Room and a Reception in the Atrium Garden.

Profiles of African American Women who made a difference 
To the history of Long Beach, California
Edited by Sunny Nash
Foreword by Carolyn Smith Watts

(l-r, rear) Evelyn Knight, Patricia Lofland, Bobbie SmithAlta Cooke, Carrie Bryant, Vera Mulkey, Wilma Powell
Doris Topsy-Elvord(seated l-r) Autrilla ScottMaycie HerringtonDale Clinton & (not present) Lillie Mae Wesley 
"Long Beach, California, was not perfect, racially," the 12 African American women agreed, but they persisted in changing Jim Crow traditions in Southern California, and marched in Civil Rights Movement demonstrations to change Jim Crow laws in their nation. 

Autrilla Scott and Sunny Nash
The late Autrilla Scott (left)
One of the 12 Women
Sunny Nash (right) Editor & Producer
In a project that began in 2007, humanitarian, Carolyn Smith Watts, and author, Sunny Nash, began chronicling the lives of the twelve living legends of Long Beach, California, and paying tribute to them through books, television documentaries, online research programs and this upcoming exhibition. Since that time, two have passed away, Autrilla Scott and Lillie Mae Wesley. 

BREAKING THROUGH Lighting the Way explores race relations in America and Southern California, strained during the migration of black females coming from the segregated South during World War II primarily for employment. Long Beach was more progressive than towns in Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama and other parts of the Jim Crow South where some of the 12 black women were born and raised. However, employment, education and housing required racial change these black women helped to make in Long Beach. 

The late Autrilla Scott pictured above and other women in BREAKING THROUGH Lighting the Way are accomplished in a variety of areas--Congressional Gold Medal, nanny to a future president, papers in the Library of Congress, activist who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and other national, state and local achievements and honors in education, government, civil rights and others. Read Autrilla Scott & A Place Called Hope.

In preparing BREAKING THROUGH Lighting the Way, I learned that people of color all over the nation, including Southern California, have felt the effect of racial oppression at some time in their lives throughout American history. In the beginning, the inability of the United States to  take any meaningful steps in race relations was due to the Jim Crow system in place for more than 100 years. The Jim Crow system stymied any attempt at race relations by committed black and white citizens in a nation that reeled from the effects of the Civil War and Reconstruction for nearly a century and continues to be tainted by the emotions of coming generations.

Custom search civil rights history here.

Dale Clinton
Civil Rights Activist
Wrote letter to President Johnson
about poverty in America
1968 letter collected by the Library of Congress
Women with similar philosophies are profiled in a book, BREAKING THROUGH Lighting the Wayhistorical profiles--filmed, compiled, edited  and written--about twelve African American women who made a noteworthy difference in the history of Long Beach, California, and will be featured in the coming exhibition. This exposure will allow people of all races to learn about the triumphs over racism by these women and others of their time, to experience primary accounts of their lives as Americans and their struggles as black women, and to get a better understanding of race relations in the United States.

The women in BREAKING THROUGH Lighting the Way, some born as early as 1918, do not have famous names and their contributions to race relations in America, may have gone unnoticed had this book not been published. This type of project about women who defied all odds can give a writer unlimited material from which to draw topics for public speaking engagements and have the double benefit of featuring women like these in BREAKING THROUGH Lighting the Way and helping to expose the community to their stories and contributions to race relations in America.

Alta Cooke, Breaking Through Lighting the Way
Alta Cooke Posed for Article
in the Press-Telegram, Long Beach
BREAKING THROUGH Lighting the Way came from a photograph by Carolyn Smith Watts, humanitarian and coordinator of the project said, “I am blessed to have known most of these women and I have a wonderful relationship with many. These 12 women have contributed over six-hundred years of experience to Long Beach. In the past fifty years, they have mothered hundreds children, some of whom were their own and others were neighborhood children who needed love and support. Yes, of course, there are other women in our city with thousands of stories and each one invaluable."

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Eleanor Roosevelt, Marian Anderson & the Lincoln Memorial

Civil Rights Path Forged in 1939 by Eleanor Roosevelt and Marian Anderson

Photo: Eleanor Roosevelt and Marian Anderson
Eleanor Roosevelt (left), Marian Anderson (right)
Marian Anderson sang a historic concert at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939, nearly one-quarter century before the Lincoln Memorial became the location of the Martin Luther King "I Have a Dream Speech" at the conclusion of the March on Washington in 1963. 

Both Marian Anderson's concert at the Lincoln Memorial and Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream Speech" at the conclusion of the March on Washington were inspired by outrage against Jim Crow tradition and Jim Crow laws.

The March on Washington attracted a racially mixed audience of more than 200,000 in a peaceful protect against racism and poverty in America. Marian Anderson's concert attracted a racially mixed audience of more than 75,000 to her free concert, arranged by then First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt after Anderson's application for performance at Constitution Hall was denied, based on her race. Marian Anderson was not permitted to bring song to Constitution Hall for her performance because the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), in charge of the facility, did not rent the space to nonwhite performers.

DAR Letter to Eleanor Roosevelt on Marian Anderson

Page 1, Letter to Eleanor; Page 2 Letter to Eleanor

When Eleanor read the letter about the snub the Daughters of the American Revolution made toward Marian Anderson's request to use Constitution Hall, Eleanor wrote a letter in which she resigned her membership and expressed her displeasure of the organization's treatment of Anderson. The First Lady, then went about making alternative arrangements for the Anderson concert.

"The DAR had adopted a rule excluding African-American artists from the Constitution Hall stage in 1932 following protests over "mixed seating," blacks and whites seated together, at concerts of black artists. You may read a 2-page letter from Mrs. Henry M. Robert, Jr., president general of the DAR, responding to Mrs. Roosevelt's resignation." "From: National Archives and Records Administration

Reassigned to the Lincoln Memorial by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, 

African American opera singer, Marian Anderson, sang on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and her performance launched her as the voice of the Civil Rights Movement. The audience was silent as Anderson presented her program with dignified presence, commanding respect of the universe.

The civil rights activism of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt did not begin or end with the Marian Anderson affair. The daughter of the brother of President Theodore Roosevelt, Eleanor like learned her politics at the dinner table. Being of independent mind from the start and maturing into an independent person of action, Eleanor became force with which to be reckoned.

After marrying Franklin Roosevelt and then becoming First Lady, her columns, speeches, journals were captured in print. Behind the scenes it is said that she influenced the president's racial tolerance, although, not so much his actual civil rights policies, which were avoided due to southern dominance of the Democratic party.

The First Lady's philosophy is published in books, newspapers and magazines. So, it was no surprise that the Marian Anderson concert was arranged by First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, when the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to honor Anderson's application for a license to perform at Constitution Hall in Washington DC. The policy of the segregated city of Washington supported their decision. Anderson "was not white," her manager Sol Hurok was told by facility administration.

Until her death in 1962, Eleanor Roosevelt was a dedicated supporter of civil rights. Her social activism dates back to the 1939 Marian Anderson and DAR controversy over the use of Constitution Hall in Washington DC. the establishment of the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II and support of the peaceful protest doctrine of Martin Luther King.

"Charles Alfred Anderson, the first African American to earn his pilot's license, became the first flight instructor when the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP) was organized at Tuskegee Institute in October 1939. The army decided to model its training program on the CPTP and hired Anderson to teach the Tuskegee pilots," Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

From 1949 until she died in 1962, Eleanor Roosevelt wrote a column in McCall's, If You Ask Me, in which the former First Lady answered reader questions. In 1963, the same year as the March on Washington, Roosevelt's quotations were collected and published.

Marian Anderson at Lincoln Memorial
Both the March on Washington, led by Martin Luther King, and the Marian Anderson concert drew suspicion of trouble with gatherings so large in the nation's capitol. However, neither reported trouble. They both drew like-minded people who were there to make difference in the way the United States of America conducted its business at home and abroad.

Nearly one-quarter century at Marion Anderson, Martin Luther King did the same thing with his powerful voice and speech. And there was no question in either case, that one was witnessing history as portrayed by true Americans.

Marian Anderson was born in 1897 and died in 1993.
Eleanor Roosevelt was born in 1884 and died in 1962.

No person of any color, creed, religion, ethnic origin, nationality or economic class is more American than Eleanor Roosevelt and Marian Anderson, both of whom came upon this earth called to do a duty and neither failed in their performance of that duty.

Find more on civil rights and race relations here. Start your Custom Search

    Bigmama Didn’t Shop  At Woolworth’s  Sunny Nash

Hard Cover

Amazon Kindle
Sunny Nash author of bigmama didn't shop at woolworth's
Sunny Nash
Sunny Nash is an author, producer, photographer and leading writer on U.S. race relations. She writes books, blogs, articles and reviews, and produces media and images on U.S. history and contemporary American topics, ranging from Jim Crow laws to social media networking. Sunny Nash is the author of Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's (Texas A&M University Press), about life with her part-Comanche grandmother during the Civil Rights Movement.

Sunny Nash’s book is recognized by the Association of American University Presses as essential for understanding U.S. race relations. Nash's book is also listed in the Bibliographic Guide for black studies at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York; and recommended for Native American collections by the Miami-Dade Public Library System in Florida. Nash uses her book to write articles and blogs on race relations in America through topics relating to her life--from music, film, early radio and television, entertainment, social media, Internet technology, publishing, journalism, sports, education, employment, the military, fashion, performing arts, literature, women's issues, adolescence and childhood, equal rights, social and political movements--past and present—to today's post-racism.

ushistory.org homepage

© 2014 Sunny Nash. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
~Thank You~