About Sunny Nash

Sunny Nash, author of Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's, is an award-winning writer, photographer, producer and public speaker. 

Sunny Nash writes about U.S. race relations and civil rights history because Jim Crow laws so affected her childhood and young adult development. In her book, Bigmama Didn't Shop at Woolworth's, Nash tells the stories of her life growing up with her family during the Civil Rights Movement.

Sunny Nash Author of Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's
Sunny Nash
Sunny Nash is the award-winning author of Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s (Texas A&M University Press), a book on Brazos Valley life with her part-Comanche grandmother during the Civil Rights Movement. The basis of Nash’s book, Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s, was her syndicated newspaper columnist for Hearst (Houston Chronicle), Knight-Ridder (Bryan-College Station Eagle) and Black Syndication in New York. The book is recognized by the Association of American University Presses as essential for understanding U.S. race relations; and recommended for Native American collections by the Miami-Dade Public Library System in Florida.
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In her memoir, based on her syndicated newspaper columns, Nash dared to cover the effects of Jim Crow laws when this era was still fresh in the memory of American society. Nash broached Jim Crow through her personal experiences as well as national events as Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Brown v the Board of Education, the Woolworth Sit-ins, the Freedom Riders an other protests. She continues her theme in her blogs, books and articles and also covers most issues in American culture and life, including music, entertainment, film, literature, sports, medicine, government and other areas of society. 

"There is no area off limits to me as a writer," Nash said. "I love research and placing personalities and events in historical context. That is why I find history, in general, so exciting."

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Sunny Nash began her career in news at country radio station, WTAW-AM, covering such notable events as the Willie Nelson 4th of July Picnic. Then, after graduating from Texas A&M University with a degree in journalism/broadcast communication, she became the first program director for KAMU-FM, where she contributed regularly to the National Public Radio (NPR) program, All Things Considered and created the award-winning Collector’s Choice with Gilbert Plass, still in encore broadcasts after 36 years.

Nash was a writer-producer for UTTV of the University of Texas Health Science Center, where she won a Nomination for the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. In 2004, Nash won Charter Communications Producer of the Year Award. In 2008, she became a biographer for the African American National Biography, a joint project of Harvard University and Oxford Press.

Nash won two California Arts Council Literary Fellowships 2003 & 2010, coverage in the Los Angeles Times, speaking engagements at University of California, Texas Book Festival and the George Bush Presidential Library. Nash won First Prize in the Houston Public Library Literary Competition in 1986, and Second Prize for the J. Frank Dobie Award in 1985.
Nikon digital camera
Nikon Black Digital SLR Kit
Also an internationally acclaimed photographer, Nash is recognized by Women in Photography International. Nash has images collected by the Smithsonian, the Schomburg Center in New York and the Houston Public Library. Nash has conducted oral history, video and photographic projects for the Brazos Historical Society, Long Beach Historical Society, Long Beach Public Library, Texas A&M University Archaeology Department and the University of Texas Health Science Center.

Sunny Nash's work appears in the African American National Biography by Harvard and Oxford; African American West, A Century of Short Stories; Reflections in Black, A History of Black Photography 1840 - Present; Ancestry Magazine; Companion to Southern Literature; Black Genesis: A Resource Book for African-American Genealogy; African American Foodways; Southwestern American Literature Journal and other anthologies. Nash is listed in references: The Source: a guidebook to American genealogy; Bibliographic Guide to Black Studies; Interdisciplinary Journal for Germanic Linguistics; Ebony Magazine; Southern Exposure; Hidden Sources: Family History in Unlikely Places; and others. Sunny Nash is a graduate of Texas A&M University.
Sunny Nash, Expert Author, Ezine Articles
Sunny Nash
Ezine Articles
Expert Author

Nash is an Expert Author for Ezine Articles on topics related to improving your writing, marketing your writing and selling your books. One primary emphasis of this professional column is to focus on public speaking as a means for publicizing your books and services.

Public speaking is an underutilized resource many authors overlook for a number of reasons. One reason is that some authors, who feel comfortable in front of a keyboard, do not feel as comfortable in front of an audience. A second reason authors do not use public speaking engagements as a resources for selling their books is that they fail to recognize their own expertise and do not feel they have anything to share.

One way to start to recognize expertise is to write or update your biographical sketch or resume. This process is a good exercise for all professionals, whether they are writers or not.

The African American West: a century of short stories
The African American 
West: A Century 
of Short Stories

Sunny Nash contributed to the collection, The The African American West: A Century of Short Stories, spanning the Twentieth Century of African American short story writing. Nash's story, Amen, is about the African American church experience of a small child who witnesses the dishonesty of traveling revival preachers in black western churches. The small child, the main character in the story, is an observer who discovers the trickery of the preacher and her neighbor's participation in the perceived deceit of those in the congregation. What the child learns is that everyone knows about the trickery. The entire event is designed for the entertainment of the isolated frontier community.

Dust Jacket: Ranging from late nineteenth-century writers such as Charles Chestnut to contemporary authors such as Walter Mosley, the works in [this book] demonstrate how the West, as seen through the eyes of African Americans, has evolved over the last century. [The editors'] introductions to each part of the book provide both literary and historical insight into the African American experience in the West. Containing forty-six short stories ... this volume is an excellent resource for readers in modern literature and African American history and culture. For a look at some of Nash's publication descriptions, visit her WOW Site. Click on the Works tab. This is not yet the complete listing of Nash's works. So, check back frequently as the listing is being completed. Another professional listing of Sunny Nash's work has been compiled at Poets&Writer.org.

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Bigmama Didn't Shop at Woolworth's is listed in the Bibliographic Guide to Black Studies by the Schomburg Center in New York and recommended for Native American collections by the Miami-Dade Public Library System in Florida.

Sign: Positively no Beer Sold to Indians
Bigmama's part-Comanche
family was discriminated
against in political
and economic ways.

Native Americans are the most harshly affected by institutionalized racism, according to The Worldwatch Institute, which notes that 317 reservations are threatened by environmental hazards.

While formal equality has been legally granted, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders remain among the most economically disadvantaged groups in the country, and suffer from high levels of alcoholism and suicide. Bigmama's family was subject to discrimination because of their Native American and African American heritage.

Buy Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s by Sunny Nash from publisher, Texas A&M University Press.

An excerpt from Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's: In the essay, “Cousin Hudge, the Traveling Fiddle,” Sunny Nash writes her family's Native American heritage.

“Did your father give you the Indian name that Uncle George calls you?” I asked Bigmama, staring at her for a long time, while she decided not to tell me anything more. How well I knew that look. 

“We’re going to leave this old talk along, now.” She seemed to snap back from somewhere far away. “You don’t need to know that old slaverytime prairie business. I didn’t teach it to my children, and I’m not telling you. The old way is gone. Knowing about it can’t help you in this world.”

“But Bigmama.”

“Folks are scared of the word, Comanche!”  She scolded. “They hate anybody they believe got one drop of that blood. Safer to be African than Comanche!” I shivered. “Now let it rest.”

‘That’s why you hate it when Uncle George calls you by your other name,” I whispered.

Subsiding into aloofness, she seemed to forget I was even there. She wouldn’t have been more alone on a mountaintop in the wind. I didn’t mind allowing her to escape. I’d found myself doing the same thing when something annoyed or bored me.

Common Bonds: Stories by and about Modern Texas Women
Common Bonds: 
Stories by and about 
Modern Texas 
Women (Southwest 
Life and Letters)
Sunny Nash's first inclusion in a published book was in Common Bonds: Stories by and about Modern Texas Women (Southwest Life and Letters) (Southern Methodist University Press), edited by the now late Suzanne Comer. Nash's short story, The Ladies' Room, which was included in the book, led to exposure and additional literary opportunities. 

"The Ladies' Room is about a rental duplex property that my family once shared with a  married couple. The property also had a shared restroom, which the lady of the house next door called the ladies' room because the women of the house were responsible for keeping it clean. She really didn't like the idea of men using the room, saying often, "but they got to go somewhere." The story is not autobiographical in a strict sense, but is based loosely on memories from my early childhood."

The Dallas Morning News reviewed the book when it was released and called it, "a revealing look at women in the late 20th century...The key word in the subtitle is not women or Texas but modern." This assessment of Common Bonds has a special meaning to Sunny Nash these days because the book was released in 1990. In the final decade of the 20th century, we cemented our roles as Texas women on the national stage, including producing our second female Texas governor, Ann Richards," Nash said, In this effort to document the roles of Texas women through our fiction, Comer showed foresight."

In her final work, which was Common Bonds, Comer took the present as it was presented to her and shaped it, looking into the future, into which we have now arrived, and saw the need for such a work that collected our female Texas experiences, crossing racial and economic lines that may have separated us at some time in the past but today unite us as a cohesive group of human beings.

Suzanne Comer will remain one of my heroes. It was her encouragement that helped me to become the writer that I am today. Had she not extended the invitation to publish my story, The Ladies' Room, in Common Bonds: Stories by and about Modern Texas Women, my life would have taken a different and far less satisfying course. This one publication led to so much more that I was incapable of imagining at the time.
Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's by Sunny Nash
Sunny Nash

Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's by Sunny Nash
Bigmama Didn't Shop 
at Woolworth's
by Sunny Nash
A Pre-Civil Rights Memoir
Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s can be purchased from all major bookstores, domestic and international.

Miles Sumner of Torrence, California, said,I finished reading my copy of Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's. I feel as if I understand some.”

Buy Bigmama Didn't Shop at Woolworth's

© 2013 Sunny Nash. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
~Thank You~

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