Love is Loud

How Diane Nash Led the Civil Rights Movement

Meet Diane Nash, a civil rights leader who worked alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis, in this illuminating nonfiction picture book.

Diane grew up in the southside of Chicago in the 1940s. As a university student, she visited the Tennessee State Fair in 1959. Shocked to see a bathroom sign that read For Colored Women, Diane learned that segregation in the South went beyond schools—it was part of daily life. She decided to fight back, not with anger or violence, but with strong words of truth and action.

Finding a group of like-minded students, including student preacher John Lewis, Diane took command of the Nashville Movement. They sat at the lunch counters where only white people were allowed and got arrested, day after day. Leading thousands of marchers to the courthouse, Diane convinced the mayor to integrate lunch counters. Then, she took on the Freedom Rides to integrate bus travel, garnering support from Martin Luther King Jr. and then the president himself—John F. Kennedy.

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EMOTIVE … An inspiring meditation on love as the heart of justice.

Publishers Weekly, (starred review)
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MOVING … A poignant and powerful portrayal of the life and work of an unsung civil rights activist.

Kirkus (starred review)
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The second-person narrative highlights major moments in Nash’s life … Collier’s watercolor and collage illustrations beautifully complement the text.

The Horn Book (starred review)

Sandra Neil Wallace and Bryan Collier’s book displays beautifully Diane Nash’s courage to challenge the ills of segregation. Her commitment to non-violent protest for justice continues to inspire people around the world. The National Civil Rights Museum is proud to have her in our ring of Freedom Award honorees.

Dr. Russell Wigginton, president, National Civil Rights Museum

Sandra Neil Wallace’s lyrical prose coupled with award-winning illustrator Bryan Collier’s captivating visions immerse readers in the pivotal, yet under-told story, of civil rights leader Diane Nash. Nash inspires as an activist ancestor to whom today’s young organizers can look to as an inspiration and a reminder to vocalize, act, and always lead with love.

Lori Ann Terjesen, director of education, National Women’s History Museum