Interview with James Farmer


James Farmer:

OK, so I went down to see them off and to say goodbye to them and reach my hand through open window to shake hands with a young CORE girl, Doris Castle, who was then 17 years old from New Orleans. And I said, "Well, have a safe journey, Doris, and after the Freedom Ride, we'll get together in New Orleans and talk about the ride, discuss the next steps." Well, she looked at me in total disbelief and said, "Jim, please, you're going with us, aren't you?" I said, "Well, Doris, no. I can't go." And I went through the whole list of excuses why I could not possibly go at the time and she whispered, in a stage whisper, "Jim, please." I could not stand that. I then said to a CORE aide, "Get my luggage and put it on the bus. I'm going." I got on the bus. They were scared too, but I saw something besides fear in their eyes, I saw fierce determination to do what they thought had to be done, and I gained courage from them.