Bigmama Didn't Shop at Woolworth's

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Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's cover art

Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's (Texas A&M University Press 1996) is a memoir by Sunny Nash about life[1] with her part-Comanche grandmother[2] during the Civil Rights Movement.[3] Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's was chosen as an Association of American University Presses Book for Understanding U.S. Race Relations.[4] The book was also recommended by the Miami-Dade Public Library System for Native American Collections.[5]

Nash's book, still in print and collected worldwide,[6] consists of a collection of articles from Nash's newspaper column contributions to the Houston Chronicle (Texas Magazine, State Lines Column).[7] Tony Pederson, then Chronicle executive editor and later Endowed Chair of Journalism at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, gave Nash her first Chronicle assignment. This assignment, "A Mission Completed For Doll," earned Nash regular publication in the State Lines column, edited by Ken Hammond, and publication in Hammond's collection, State Lines,[8] illustrated by Rolf Laub,[9] with a foreword by Leon Hale. Nash's "A Mission Completed For Doll" was later published in Nash's book, Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's.[10]

“Indeed, Bigmama had a stoic bearing which combined with a wry sense of humor to produce a genre of cryptic, often cautionary witticisms all her own. Bigmama delivered one of these gems, for instance, in response to young Nash's materialistic yearnings before Christmas one year,” Elizabeth Lasch-Quinn, book review in The Mississippi Quarterly(Vol. 51, Issue 4), published by Johns Hopkins University Press.[11]

Letter from Texas First Lady, Laura Bush, inviting Sunny Nash to read from Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's, at the Texas Capitol.

In 1996, Texas First Lady, Laura Bush, invited Nash to read from Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's at the Inaugural Texas Book Festival. In 1997, Nash's book was included in The Writers Harvest: The National Reading to Benefit Hunger and Poverty.[12] Melody Graulich based her paper, "The Spaces of Segregation," on Nash's book, Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's. Graulich presented her paper the American Studies Association Annual Meeting.[13]


The Library Journal recommended Bigmama for black studies or Texas history collections, writing, "Nash tells a story of the wrongs of racial prejudice..."[14] and the School Library Journal wrote, "Young people will learn a lot from this book."[14]

Glencoe literature: the reader's choice explained, "Edgar Gabriel Silex and Sunny Nash honor grandparents whose dignity inspired them..."[15]

It has also been reviewed by Publishers Weekly,[16] the Mississippi Quarterly,[17] The Western Journal of Black Studies,[18] and the Los Angeles Times.[19]


  1. ^ "Nonfiction Book Review: Bigmama Didn't Shop at Woolworth's by Sunny Nash". August 1996. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Aug 1, 1997 Issue | Texas Observer Print Archives".
  3. ^ McLELLAN, DENNIS (18 May 1997). "Fierce Pride in Her Bigmama". Retrieved 23 July 2017 – via LA Times.
  4. ^ "Books for Understanding: Race Relations in the U.S." Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  5. ^ Bigmama Didn't Shop at Woolworth's. Texas A&M University Press. August 1996.
  6. ^ Nash, Sunny (23 July 1996). "Bigmama didn't shop at Woolworth's". College Station : Texas A&M University Press. Retrieved 23 July 2017 – via Trove.
  7. ^ "State Lines: A song of his own making". 14 January 2001. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  8. ^ "State Lines by Ken Hammond: Texas A&M University Press, College Station, TX 9780890965627 Soft Cover, First Edition. - Texas Star Books". Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  9. ^ "Illustrations from Houston Chronicle featured at Fondren exhibit". Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  10. ^ "State Lines - Texas A&M University Consortium Press". Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  11. ^ "Gale - Product Login".
  12. ^ "Archives". Los Angeles Times. 19 October 1997.
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b "Bigmama didn't shop at Woolworth's". Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  15. ^ Glencoe/Mcgraw-Hill (2001). Glencoe literature: The reader's choice. ISBN 9780028179353.
  16. ^ "Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's". Publishers Weekly. PWxyz LLC. July 29, 1996. Retrieved July 24, 2017. What Nash does best is open a window on a neighborhood where heroism was often a matter of just getting by.
  17. ^ Lasch-Quinn, Elisabeth (September 22, 1998). "Bigmama Didn't Shop at Woolworth's (Review)". Mississippi Quarterly. Archived from the original on July 2, 2017 – via HighBeam Research.
  18. ^ Melody Graulich (June 2015). "Spatial Injustice, Texas-Style: Why Bigmama Didn't Shop at Woolworth's". The Western Journal of Black Studies. Washington State University Press. 39 (2): 114–124. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  19. ^ Dennis McLellan (May 20, 1997). "Lessons From Candy Hill". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 24, 2017. "Bigmama Didn't Shop at Woolworth's" (Texas A & M University Press, 1997) is a collection of true-life stories--64 nostalgic vignettes ranging from two to five pages--that Nash wrote for Black Consciousness, a newspaper syndicate.