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Diane Nash
Diane Nash Diane Nash


Diane Judith Nash (born May 15, 1938) was a leader and strategist of the student wing of the 1960s Movement A historian described her as: "…bright, focused, utterly fearless, with an unerring instinct for the correct tactical move at each increment of the crisis; as a leader, her instincts had been flawless, and she was the kind of person who pushed those around her to be at their best, that, or be gone from the movement" Nash's campaigns were among the most successful of the era Her efforts included the first successful civil rights campaign to de-segregate lunch counters (Nashville);[2] the Freedom riders, who de-segregated interstate travel;[3] founding the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC); and the Selma Voting Rights Movement campaign, which resulted in African Americans getting the vote and political power throughout the South Through her involvement with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Diane Nash worked closely with Marin Luther King In 1962 King nominated Nash for a civil rights award sponsored by the New York branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to acknowledge her exemplary role in the student sit-ins King described Nash as the ‘‘driving spirit in the nonviolent assault on segregation at lunch counters’’ (King, 9 April 1962) Born in 1938, in Chicago, Illinois, Nash left Chicago to attend Howard University in Washington, DC, but transferred a year later to Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she majored in English.

In Nashville, Nash experienced the full effect of the Jim Crow system for the ?rst time In 1959 she began attending nonviolence workshops given by James Lawson Initially a skeptic of nonviolent tactics, Nash began to understand their effectiveness and marveled at the willingness of people to risk their lives for the sake of others She had the opportunity to practice nonviolent direct action after the Student Central Committee in Nashville organized sit-ins in local department stores Their sit-ins occurred in conjunction with the wave of sit-ins across the South initiated in Greensboro, North Carolina, on 1 February 1960 In 1960 Nash attended the founding meeting of SNCC in Raleigh, North Carolina In 1961 SNCC began supporting 10 students in Rock Hill, South Carolina, who were involved in protest activities and refused to post bail after being arrested Shortly after arriving in Rock Hill, Nash and three other activists were also jailed for requesting service at a segregated lunch counter For Nash, ‘‘jail without bail’’ gave protesters the ‘‘opportunity to reach the community and society with a great moral appeal and thus bring about basic changes in people and in society’’ (Garrow, 202) On 17 February 1961 King wrote to Nash, Charles Sherrod, and the other protesters ‘‘You have inspired all of us by such demonstrative courage and faith.

It is good to know that there still remains a creative minority who would rather lose in a cause that will ultimately win than to win in a cause that will ultimately lose’’ During the spring of 1961 Nash played a crucial role in sustaining Freedom Rides initiated by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) From her base in Nashville, she coordinated student efforts to continue the rides into Mississippi and served as a liaison between the press and the United States Department of Justice Tensions developed between King and SNCC members, including Nash, when King refused to participate in the Freedom Rides himself After her leadership role in the Freedom Rides, Nash became head of SNCC’s direct action campaigns during the summer of 1961 That same year she married James Bevel, a fellow civil rights activist The two moved to Jackson, Mississippi, where Nash was later convicted of contributing to the delinquency of minors for teaching them nonviolent tactics Given a choice between paying a ?ne and jail time, Nash opted to serve her sentence despite being pregnant The judge suspended her sentence rather than face the possibility of negative publicity for sending a pregnant woman to jail In 1962 she joined Bevel at SCLC as a ?eld staff organizer.

She and Bevel made important contributions to the Birmingham Campaign, March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and the Selma Campaign Both received the Rosa Parks Award from SCLC in 1965 From the late 1960s onward, Nash taught in Chicago public schools and continued her activism organizing tenants, welfare support, and housing advocates .

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Freedom Riders: The Student Leader
A student at Fisk University in Nashville, Diane Nash became the leader of the Nashville Student Movement. Fellow activists John Lewis, Ernest "Rip" Patton, Jr., Rev. James M. Lawson, Jr.,...
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Diane Nash: Managing Fear
As chairperson of the Nashville sit-in group, Nash was a special target of potential violence. She had to conquer her fear to lead. Diane Nash, a Chicago native, first became actively involved...
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Diane Nash Bio
A video biography of Diane Nash. Narrated by Angela Basset.
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Who the hell is Diane Nash? From Freedom Riders
In 1961, Assistant to the Attorney General John Seigenthaler called student leader Diane Nash in an attempt to stop the Freedom Rides in order to prevent further violence. Instead of stopping...
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The QUESTION Diane Nash Asked the Memphis Mayor To End Desegreation
The question a "man" had to answer. Follow our platform, which promotes economic, social & racial equity: --------------- Follow our social media: Facebook:...
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Civil Rights Leader Diane Nash Has A Message For Student Activists - Newsy
The civil rights movement leader and former student activist offered her thoughts on contemporary student movements. See more at Follow Newsy:
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Eyes on the Prize | Activism Then & Now
St. Louis community leaders discuss the importance of "Eyes on the Prize" for today's generations and movement building. Plus, catch a never-before-seen segment of Diane Nash from the film.
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The Women of Selma Featurette
'It was important to include the women in the story because the women were instrumental in the movement from Coretta Scott King, to Amelia Boynton. to Annie Lee Cooper to Dianne Nash . . Its...
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Diane Nash on Civic Responsibility
Civil Rights Movement pioneer, Diane Nash speaks at the Smithsonian's National Youth Summit on the Freedom Rides in February 2011.
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Civil Rights Pioneer Diane Nash: I Refused to March with George Bush During Selma Anniversary - One notable civil rights activist who did not take part in this weekend's commemorative march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma was Diane Nash, who helped found...
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Civil Rights Pioneer Diane Nash Refused to March With George Bush During Selma Anniversary
One notable civil rights activist who did not take part in this weekend's commemorative march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma was Diane Nash, who helped found the Student Nonviolent...
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Unkown Courage: Leadership and Legacy of Diane Nash
Diane Nash Documentary by: Andrew Faulkenberry Assistance by: Chris S. and Diane Nash.
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Theres a story I want to tell | Diane Nash
Nia Fairweather shares the story of meeting one of her heroes, Diane Nash.
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Diane Nash Documentary
NHD Project 2017.
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Diane Nash documentary
Diane Nash was one of the best Civil Rights activist of all times.This documentary is about how Diane Nash got rid of segregation in Nashville, Tennessee with the SNCC.
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Do you know who Diane Nash is?
Video created by Mary Chandler Philpott (, Nilaja McBeth (, Luca Corinteli ( for AAS 2559: Social Communication for Social Change,...
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Diane Nash Talks Women And Civil Rights-Era Activism - Newsy
We spoke to activist Diane Nash who touched on the overlooked contributions of women during the civil rights movement. See more at Follow Christian Bryant: http://www.twitte...
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SISTER GIANT: Like A Tree Standing By The Water... WE WILL NOT BE MOVED!
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Civil Rights Activist Diane Nash addresses Northwesterns Evanston campus
Video by Ryder Chasin Civil rights activist Diane Nash addressed Northwestern's Evanston campus on January 25 as part of a celebration in honor of MLK Jr. Day. This video represents some of...
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Diane Nash - Sages and Scientists 2013
Topic: The Nonviolent Movement of the 1960's: A Legacy for Today The philosophy upon which the civil rights movement was based holds many lessons and implications for today. Few people really...
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