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About Sunny Nash

Sunny Nash

Sunny Nash – Author-Journalist

Sunny Nash is the author of Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s, about life with her part-Comanche grandmother during the Civil Rights Movement. Nash’s book, based on her column of 16 years with the Hearst newspaper, The Houston Chronicle, and the Knight-Ridder newspaper, The Eagle, is selected by the Association of American University Presses as a Book for Understanding U.S. Race Relations and also recommended by Miami-Dade Public Library System for Native American Collections.

The first African American mainstream broadcast news reporter in the Brazos Valley of at Country Radio WTAW-AM. From there, she signed on the new NPR (National Public Radio) affiliate, KAMU-FM and became the station’s first Program Director, where she was a regular contributor to All Things Considered, and creator of classical music programs still in syndication, one of which is Collector’s Choice with Gilbert Plass.


Sunny Nash Wins ABWA Shine Award

Sunny Nash Wins ABWA Shine Award

In 2017, the California Senate honored Nash for Cultural Heritage Programs. In 2016, American Business Women’s Association presented Nash the Shine Award for Cultural Journalism. Nash was a finalist for a 2015 John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. In 2014, Nash won the Ottis Lock Award & Cultural Research Grant for The Peterson Legacy, an exhibition at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum. In 2013, Nash received a National Endowment for the Humanities Award to moderate Created Equal. In 2008, Nash joined Henry Louis Gates on Harvard’s African American National Biography project, published by Oxford University Press. In 2004, Nash won the Charter Communications TV Producer of the Year Award. Other honors include RFK Journalism Nomination, First Prize Houston Literary Essay Competition, First-Runner-up J.Frank Dobie Writing Award.

Sunny Nash earned the highest distinction offered by the 2018 London School of Journalism Media Law Program, the Honors Diploma, for a sound understanding of key legal principles, outstanding ability and expertise. Other of Nash’s studies in journalism and media include Distinguished Graduate, Educational Technology/Teaching Online, University of California, San Diego, California; Journalism Adjunct Professor Certification, Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communications, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona; Distinguished Undergraduate Student, Journalism & Mass Communication, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; Digital Literacy, Simmons Graduate School of Library & Information Science, Boston, Massachusetts; Humanitarian Law for Media, Global Human Rights Education & Training Centre, Geneva, Switzerland; Media & Information Literacy Certificate, Athabasca University, Alberta, Canada; Intellectual Property Law, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO Academy), Geneva, Switzerland; and Cultural Journalism, United Nations, and The British Council United Kingdom.


Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s (Texas A&M University Press 1996)

African-American Lifeways in East-Central Texas (Texas A&M University Center for Environmental Archaeology 1993)

Untold Legacies


Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's


Fighting for the People Ernest McBride Sunny Nash book cover


BREAKING THROUGH Lighting the Way Sunny Nash Carolyn Smith Watts






Untold Legacies: A Pictorial History, Black Long Beach 1900-2000 & Beyond (National Council of Negro Women 2007)


Fighting for the People (African American Heritage Society 2007)ing the Way (Historical Society of Long Beach 2008)

Books Edited & Designed

Palace Theater Blues Festival


Arts Council for Long Beach 

Bryan Texas Blues Festival Souvenir Book (City of Bryan, Texas & Brazos Valley African American Heritage & Cultural Society 2012)

SPIN: Amgen Bicycle Race Long Beach (Arts Council for Long Beach 2007)



African American National Biography (Harvard & Oxford Universities)

National Biography

Book Contributions

Texas Through Women’s Eyes: The Twentieth-Century Experience (University of Texas Press 2011)

African American National Biography (Harvard & Oxford Press 2008)

State of Mind: Texas Literature and Culture (Texas A&M University Press 1998)



The African American West: a Century of Short Stories

The African American West

Anthology Contributions

The African American West: a Century of Short Stories  (University Press of Colorado 2000)

Language Arts & Disciplines (Harcourt Brace 2011)

African American Women Confront the West: 1600-2000 (University of Oklahoma Press 2008)

Best Books for High School Readers: Grades 9-12 (Libraries Unlimited of Greenwood Press 2004)

Glencoe Literature (McGraw-Hill 2002)

Stirring Prose (Texas A&M University Press 1998)

New Growth 2: Contemporary Short Stories by Texas Writers (Corona Press 1997) Common Bonds (Southern Methodist University Press 1990)

The Companion to Southern Literature: themes, genres, places, people …(Louisiana State University Press 2002)

Blacks in the American West and Beyond (Greenwood Press 2000)

Best Books for Young Teen Readers: Grades 7-10 (Libraries Unlimited of Greenwood Press 2000)

Let’s Hear It: Stories by Texas Women Writers (Texas A&M University Press 1997)

State Lines of Texas Magazine of the Houston Chronicle

State Lines

Literary Contributions

African American Foodways: Explorations of History and Culture (University of Illinois Press, 2007)

State Lines (Texas A&M University Press 2000)

A Bookmark (Texas A&M University Press 1999)

Literature Connections to American History Resources to Enhance & Entice K-6 & 7-12 (Libraries Unlimited 1997)

Strategies for College Reading (Harcourt Brace College Publishers 1996)

Bryan Legacies (Brazos Genealogical Association, Brazos Co Texas 1992)

Lynching to Belong: Claiming Whiteness through Racial Violence (Centennial Series of the Association of Former Students, Texas A&M University 2007)

Journal of Women's History, Johns Hopkins

Journal of Women’s History, Johns Hopkins

Scholarly Journal Articles

Interdisciplinary Journal for Germanic linguistics and semiotic …(University of California, Berkeley 2000)

Journal of Women’s History (Johns Hopkins University Spring 1998)

Choice: Publication of the Association of College and Research Volume 34 (Association of College and Research Libraries 1996)

Southern Exposure, Southern Humanities Review (Institute for Southern Studies, 1996)

The linguistic individual: self-expression in language and linguistics (Oxford University Press, 1996)

Southwestern American Literature (Southwest Regional Humanities Center Spring 1995)

Journal of Linguistic Anthropology (American Anthropological Association December 1995)

Women’s History: 100 American Women Who Made a Difference (Cowles History Group 1995)

Texas Advocate (Journal of the Texas Coalition for Juvenile Justice 1992)

Ancestry Magazine, Cover Story: A Photographic Legacy

Ancestry Magazine 

Magazine Articles

From Excavation to Oral History (Ancestry Magazine 2002) A Photographic Legacy (Ancestry Magazine 2000) Calvert, Texas: Preserving a Town’s Heritage (Ancestry Magazine 1998) History of Anaheim (True West Magazine 1997) Mother Amadeus and Stagecoach Mary (True West Magazine 1996) African American Family Research (Ancestry Magazine 1996) Tracing Ancestry Through Family Photographs (Ancestry Magazine 1996) Looking at Both Sides of a Tattoo (Texas Magazine, The Houston Chronicle 1993) Low Budget Babies Crawl Away with Gold (Communicator 1988) Farm Women on the College Campus (Farmer-Stockman Magazine 1982) The Mysterious Christmas Eve Visitor (Farmer-Stockman Magazine 1982)



Texas Magazine, Sunday Magazine of the Houston Chronicle

Houston Chronicle

Syndicated Newspaper & Journal Columns

State Lines (Selected Articles from Hearst Newspaper Syndicate, 1990-2003) (Left) Looking for Hope in the Inner City (Texas Magazine 1996). Other titles: Color Her an Artist Always, May 4, 2003; The Sewing Lesson, August 11, 2002;  Secret Water, February 3, 2002; The Carnegie Lesson, February 14, 1999; When Everything Changes, February 1, 1998; No Way to Butter Up Bigmama, May 4, 1997; It’s a Matter of Control, November 19, 1995, The Day The Piano Arrived, May 21, 1995;  Uncle Roscoe’s City, June 5, 1994; The Landlady’s House, April 3, 1994; Faces Found on a Dark Throne, 11, 1993; A Time to Leave Candy Hill, February 16, 1992; A Mission Completed for Doll, July 15, 1990.


Hudge: The Traveling Fiddler by Sunny Nash

The Traveling Fiddler

Knight-Ridder Newspaper Syndicate, 1993-95 “Hudge: The Traveling Fiddler

“Trouble Hits Small Towns too” Shooting Without a Gun“Rain Used to Stop Travel on Candy Hill” “Magazines Brought the World to Bryan” “Recalling My Grandmother’s Sit-in” “Mouth-Watering Memories” “Window of Opportunity” “When the Floor Is Cold” “Fighting for the Lead” “A Chair Is Still a Chair” “Knowing Everything about Everything” “Everything that Makes You Laugh Isn’t Funny” “Getting Up with the Chickens” “Kissed by the Hot Texas Sun”


Yesterdays (Selected Articles Bryan-College Station Eagle, 1992-93)

“When the Healer Comes to Town” “Bad News from Cousin Jimmy” “Going to the Movies Not Always as Plain as Black and White” “Saturday at the Beauty Shop” “The Tutu” “When the Healer Came to Town” “From Slave to Citizen: The Founding of a People” “Gymnastics a Hit in Bryan in the 1950s” “Iceman Was a Sign of Summer” “Hudge: The Traveling Fiddler” “My Grandmother’s Pharmacy” Texas Advocate (Journal of the Texas Coalition for Juvenile Justice 1992) Using Art to Help Children in Trouble with the Law (Texas Register: Monthly Journal, Office of the Secretary of State 1991-92)

On Being Black in Houston by Sunny Nash, Houston Post

On Being Black in Houston

Black Women in Texas History

Black Women in Texas History

Reference Listings

Black Women in Texas History (Texas A&M University Press 2008)

Lynching to Belong (Texas A&M University Press 2007) Texas Women Writers: a tradition of their own (Texas A&M University Press 1997)

The Source: A Guidebook Of American Genealogy, Third Edition (Ancestry Publishing 2006) Black Genesis: A Resource Book for African-American Genealogy (Genealogical Publishing Company 2003)



Hidden Sources: Family History in Unlikely Places  (Ancestry Publishing 2000) Remembering Woolworth’s: A Nostalgic History of the World’s Most Famous Five (Texas A&M University Press 2000) Celebrating the Family: ethnicity, consumer culture, and family rituals (Harvard University Press 2000)

Following Old Fencelines: Tales from Rural Texas (Texas A&M University Press 1998)

Bibliographic Guide to Black studies (Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture 1997)

Language Arts & Disciplines (Harcourt Brace College Publishers 1996)

Africana Studies List of Books (Humanities Press 1996)

Black Texas women: 150 years of trial and triumph (University of Texas Press 1995)

African-American Religion: research problems and resources for the 1990s (Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture 1990)

Photographic Credits

Shopping for Hope Exhibition

Shopping for Hope Exhibition by Sunny Nash

Storefront Church by Sunny Nash

Storefront Church (© 1989) by Sunny Nash

Cross on Shack by Sunny Nash

Cross on Shack © 1989 by Sunny Nash

Shopping for Hope: a photographic study of storefront churches across America (National Museum of African American History and Culture of the Smithsonian Institution 2012 )

Shopping for Hope: a photographic study of storefront churches in Los Angeles (Arts Council for Long Beach Exhibition 2007)

Shopping for Hope: a photographic study of storefront churches in Los Angeles (City of Artists Exhibition 2008)

Sunny Nash, Photographer

Sunny Nash, Photographer

Reflections in Black: a History of Black Photographers, 1840 - Present

Reflections in Black: a History of Black Photographers, 1840 – Present

Reflections in Black Exhibition (International Smithsonian Tour 2001)

Reflections in Black: a photographic study of black photography 1840-present (W.W. Norton & Company 2000)




Finding Your African American Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide

Finding Your African American Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide (Ancestry Publishing 2000) African-American Religion: research problems and resources for the 1990s (Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture 1990)

Blacks in Focus (Bryan-College Station Eagle 1992) Photo Exhibit Shows Early African American Culture (Battalion 1992)

Shopping for Hope: a photographic study of storefront churches across America (Saint Johns 1993)

Sunny Nash Honors

Arts Council for Long Beach, California, Fellowship First Prize

Sunny Nash Arts Council Fellowship First Prize

2014, Arts Council for Long Beach Professional Artist Fellowship; 2010, Arts Council for Long Beach Fellowship – First Prize 2009, Leimert Book Festival – Featured 2009, Historical Society, Long Beach (Breaking Through) – Featured 2009, Historical Society, Long Beach (One Camera) ­- Featured 2008, African American National Biography – Featured 2008, Disney Concert Center BAI Exhibition – Featured 2007, City of Artists Exhibition (Photography) – Featured


Sunny Nash Producer of the Year Award

Sunny Nash Producer of the Year Award

2004, Charter Communications Producer of the Year – First Prize 2003, Arts Council for Long Beach Fellowship – First Prize 2001, Women in Photography International – Honored 2001, Shopping for Hope: a photographic study of storefront churches across America Exhibited with International Smithsonian Photography Collection 2000, Reflections in Black: A Photographic Hhistory of Black Photographers,           1840-Present – Featured 1998, Association of American University Presses – Honored 1998, Native American Collections, Miami-Dade Public Library System in Florida – Collected 1997, Texas Book Festival – Featured 1994, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History – Collected 1990, Photography Collected by the Smithsonian 1990, Photography Collected by the Schomburg 1990, Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award – Finalist 1990, People’s Award, Sammy Davis Songwriting Competition – Finalist 1990, Brazos Valley Arts Council, Juried Competition (Photography) – Third Prize


Houston Public Library Award First Prize, Houston Post

Sunny Nash Houston Public Library Award First Prize

1986, Houston Public Library Literary Competition – First Prize (On Being Black in Houston, Sanko’s World) 1985, J.F. Dobie Literary Fellowship – Second Prize 1976, Dallas Morning News Journalism Scholarship (Texas A&M University) – Winner

  1. mikeobrien permalink

    Hello Ms. Nash,
    I’ve purchased and am reading your book about life in the Candy Hill Neighborhood of Bryan and wondered if you have any recollections about some of the houses or their construction? I study the single-wall construction type, have recently found an abandoned emancipation era chapel, complete with chalkboard and writing, in Colorado county Tx while searching for Vox Populi a nearby freedmens town that is slowly disappearing.

    Thank you for your book, the horrors need to be on record or we will all forget them.
    Michael OBrien

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  1. Sunny Nash Honored for Nonfiction Writing | The Writer's Workshop

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