Interview with Diane Nash
QUESTION 4
INTERVIEWER:

TALK TO ME ABOUT JIM LAWSON AND HOW HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN A CATALYST FOR YOU.

Diane Nash:

Jim Lawson was a very interesting person. He had been to India, and he had studied the movement, Mohandas Gandhi, in India. He also had been a conscientious objector, and had refused to fight in the Korean War. And he really—is the person that brought Gandhi's philosophy and strategies of non-violence to this country. And he conducted weekly workshops, where students in Nashville, as well as some of the people who lived in the Nashville community, were really trained and educated in these philosophies, and strategies. I remember we used to role-play, and we would do things like actually sit-in, pretending we were sitting at lunch counters, in order to prepare ourselves to do that. And we would practice things such as how to protect your head from a beating, how to protect each other. If one person was taking a severe beating, we would practice other people putting their bodies in between that person and the violence. So that the violence could be more distributed and hopefully no one would get seriously injured. We would practice not striking back, if someone struck us. ** There were many things that I learned in those workshops, that I not only was able to put into practice at the time that we were demonstrating and so forth, but that I have used for the rest of my life. That have been invaluable, in, in shaping the kind of person I've become.