Love is Loud: How Diane Nash Led the Civil Rights Movement (Sandra Neil Wallace)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Love is Loud: How Diane Nash Led the Civil Rights Movement, written by Sandra Neil Wallace and illustrated by Bryan Collier, a lyrical, biographical picture book about using love to fight for equality.

Born in Chicago in 1938, Diane Nash grew up in comparatively less-segregated world, by family members who instilled her a sense of worth, righteousness, and equality. Moving to Tennessee to attend college, Diane was humiliated and enraged to see the way that Jim Crow segregation dehumanized black Americans, and made the decision that it was her duty to fight for justice – not with violence, but with love. Diane spearheaded several famous peaceful protests and demonstrations, including the sit-ins at Nashville lunch counters. Diane went on to speak, organize, and lead many more protests, at a time when women’s contributions to the civil rights movement were largely ignored. And through it all, she approached every challenge with peace, understanding, and love, to leave a better and more equal world for future generations.

Fascinating. As Wallace subtly points out in her text, the contributions of the female activists of the civil rights movement are so often forgotten, so reading this powerful recounting of Diane Nash’s work, as well as how deeply it was tied to her character and personal history, was an edifying experience. Wallace’s text, while not rhyming, still utilizes rhythm and turns of phrase that make it delightful to read aloud, though that does leave some details of Nash’s work vague, such as when she suddenly turns up in Vietnam with little explanation (these details are fleshed out in the book’s backmatter, however). Collier’s watercolor-and-collage illustrations are bright, bold, and colorful, and perfectly capture Nash’s indefatigable spirit. The length is best for older elementary readers, but JJ and I enjoyed it. Overall, a great book about a very cool lady, and we recommend it – Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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