Race Relations in the United States

Sunny Nash’s book, Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s, is now being used as a national tool in the study and understanding of race relations in the United States of America,
By: KSUN
 
 
Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's
Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's
Sept. 16, 2010 - PRLog -- Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s (Texas A&M University Press), a nonfiction family memoir by Sunny Nash, goes far beyond the boundaries of a single state and provides tools for the nation to look within itself on matters that deal with race.

Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s is recognized by the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) for its value in the study and understanding of race relations in the United States of America. Founded in 1937 and based in New York, AAUP is an organization of 134 university presses world-wide. One of AAUP’s missions is to.produce a list of university press books that are scholarly, intellectual and exhibit creative merit, and promote the understanding of race relations in the United States, like Sunny Nash's book, Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s.

Collected by the Republic of Texas Museum in Austin, operated by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s also fits the mission of this organization, whose goals since 1891 have included the preservation of Texas heritage and historic structures and landmarks around the state, such as the Alamo in San Antonio, and essays with national and state implications like those by Sunny Nash.

“When I wrote the book, Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s, which is based on syndicated columns I wrote for Hearst and Knight-Ridder newspapers, I was not writing about race relations, specifically,” said Sunny Nash, author of Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s. “I was writing about growing up with my maternal grandmother, Bigmama, in the 1950s and ‘60s in the Brazos Valley in Texas. It just so happened that my life occurred during a period deeply steeped in racism that ushered in the modern civil rights movement. Under those circumstances, it would be difficult not to at least touch upon racism and race relations. And I certainly had no idea that The Association of American University Presses (AAUP) would deem the book worthy of recognition for understanding race relations in America.”

Robin Fruble of Southern California said, “Every white person in America should read this book (Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s)! 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.

In the excerpt from “Movies—Not Just Black-and-White,” one of the essays in Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s, Nash writes about the first time her mother took her to lunch and the movies: It was about to rain that Saturday afternoon but the young mother agreed to take her little daughter anyway. Nash writes: Without reply, my mother dug into her tiny cloth coin purse and paid. Time passed as slowly as it could before her change and our food arrived. “Y’all can’t eat in here,” the cook said. Without a word, my mother grabbed my hand and dragged  me to the back door. As we stood outside and ate in silence, I thought I saw a tear sparkle on my mother’s cheek as the day’s last sunlight stroked her face.

With a few drops of rain falling on us, we took the short walk to the Palace Theater and stood at the ticket window outside the main lobby. The aroma of buttered popcorn floated through the little round hole in the glass where the ticket woman worked. To avoid getting wet in the shower, the moviegoers dashed through a glass front door into a dry, comfortable lobby filled with tiny white lights, velvet draperies, and red carpet. By the time my mother and I got our tickets, big drops of rain were splashing down on our heads. With her hair heavy with water, sliding into her face, my mother dug into her tiny cloth coin purse and paid. The little blue door on the outside of the theater slammed us inside the darkest place I’d ever been—like a coffin, I thought, holding my mother’s hand.

According to Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn; The Mississippi Quarterly, “In this short set of vignettes about growing up black in the Candy Hill section of the small town of Bryan, Texas, in the 1950s and early 1960s, Sunny Nash attempts to convey the forces at work in her own life and the tapestry of Southern life under segregation. Nash, who has exhibited photographs and written newspaper articles for the Houston Chronicle, thus faces both the task of criticizing the grim realities of life in the rundown section of town where she grew up and that of finding redeeming features that allowed her to escape such realities and make something of her life.”

Below is a one-and-one-half-minute book trailer for Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s by Sunny Nash.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0iICSR2qmk


Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s can be purchased from all major bookstores across the nation as well as the Republic of Texas Museum.

At the Republic of Texas Museum link below:
Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s by Sunny Nash
http://sunnynash.blogspot.com/p/bigmama-didnt-shop-at-woo...

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

At the Republic of Texas Museum link below:
Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s by Sunny Nash
http://sunnynash.blogspot.com/p/bigmama-didnt-shop-at-woolworths.html
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