Interview with Tom Hayden
QUESTION 11
INTERVIEWER:

TWENTY YEARS OLD. UM, WHAT, WHY, WHY DID YOU GO DOWN THERE? WHAT MADE, WHAT MADE TOM HAYDEN FEEL LIKE HE WAS A PART OF THIS THING? WHAT UM, FROM MICHIGAN, THIS IS FAR FROM YOUR HOME, YOUR NEEDS, I MEAN, WHAT, WHY, WHY DOWN THERE? WHY DID YOU GO?

Tom Hayden:

Well Mi-uh, why did I go? Michigan was a fairly liberal state, politically. And I had been brought up and gone to the university and edited the newspaper and had, uh, liberal ideals. This was the first time that those ideals were put to the test. Uh, would I give token support to this cause, uh, where others were taking big risks, or would I take risks myself? It became a test of commitment, and uh, in those days it was relatively simple, if you wanted to do something you could send food, uh, you could raise money, you could boycott uh, Woolworth's, or you could go south. And if you went south, you could live on virtually nothing, and you could register people to vote, and periodically you could go to demonstrations where you would get beaten up and go to jail, uh, and so it was before you. If you didn't do it, uh, uh, it was difficult on your conscience. Uh, and, and so I, I chose to finally move to Atlanta, uh, for at least a couple of years, and try to be some kind of communications link between what was going on among students in the South, communicate that back to students up north.