Professionals of Color Lecture Series
LIB 100 & US 201 Approved
A Chicago native who had never experienced segregation in public accommodation before moving to the South, Diane Nash went on to become one of the pioneers of the Civil Rights Movement.
Nash’s involvement in the nonviolent movement began in 1959 while she was a student at Fisk University. In 1960 she became the chairperson of the students sit-in movement in Nashville, Tennessee the first southern city to desegregate its lunch counters as well as one of the founding students of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee. In 1961 she coordinated the Freedom Ride from Birmingham, Alabama, to Jackson, Mississippi, a story which was documented inn the recent PBS American Experience film Freedom Riders. Her many arrests for her civil rights activities culminated in Nash being imprisoned for 30 days in 1961, while she was pregnant with her first child. Undeterred, she went on to join a national committee to which she was appointed by President John F. Kennedy that promoted passages of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Her work has been cited in numerous books, documentaries, magazines and newspaper articles and she has appeared on such TV shows and films as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Spike Lee’s Four Little Girls, and PBS’s Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years 1954 – 1965.