BIGMAMA DIDN’T SHOP AT WOOLWORTH’S, by Sunny Nash (Texas A&M University Press, 208 pages, $19.95).
An award-winning writer, exhibiting photographer, and television producer, Nash recounts her life as a young black girl living in the segregated Southern town of Bryan, Texas, in the1950s. With the help of her part-Comanche grandmother, Bigmama, Nash learned how to overcome the indignities and economic hardships that her family endured while living in a neighborhood without bathrooms, sewers, or a safe place to play,and where parents often were forced to separate from or abandon their children in order to qualify for stigmatizing social benefits. The author credits her grandmother with helping to raise her sights beyond the prejudices of the local townspeople and with preparing her for the world beyond her hometown.