Interview with Eleanor Josaitis
QUESTION 13
SHEILA C. BERNARD:

Well tell- let's, let's move ahead to, to your move back into the city and the, and the price you paid in terms of what you had to leave. Actually cut for a second. I don't need you to name specific people and I don't--



SHEILA C. BERNARD:

So when it was over, what, what did you do?

ELEANOR JOSAITIS:

When the riots were over and people were gathering around trying to figure out when the Black folks were going to come across, ah, Telegraph Road, and when are the riots going to take place in the suburbs, my desire was to move back into the city. My husband and I--

SHEILA C. BERNARD:

I'm sorry, stop for a second. You know what might be a better lead in--



SHEILA C. BERNARD:

OK, so when it's over, what's what--?

ELEANOR JOSAITIS:

When the riots in `67 were over, there began to be a feeling that `68 was going to be a very hot summer** and people in the suburbs began to, ah, start the talk of fear again, and start the talk of "What are we going to do?" and "How are we going to brace ourselves?" My reaction was exactly the opposite. My reaction was, "Let us begin to bring some sort of change." So my husband and I sold our home and moved back into the city of Detroit. I wanted to live in an integrated neighborhood, I wanted my children to be raised in an integrated neighborhood, and I wanted to be part of the ongoing struggle. We didn't do that without paying a price for it. We paid a price from our neighbors who thought that we were making a tragic mistake, "How could we possibly take five little children and move into an area that just the year before that, they were rioting two blocks away?" Family who loved us dearly couldn't understand why we would want to subject ourselves to that. There was talk of, "Somebody ought to hire an attorney and take our children away from us." Ah, there was talk of, "I'll never talk to you again." There was talk of, "Maybe you ought to use another name." Ah, there was just talk of, "I don't know what you're doing but it's wrong and you ought to think about it, and we don't want to have anything more to do, to do with you." And I think that if I look back on it now, I would say that it was fear, fear for my husband and myself, fear for five little children. But to me it was exactly what needed to be done. If I was going to teach my five children that hatred was wrong and to hate somebody bef- because of the color of their skin could not be tolerated and was exactly the opposite of what it meant to love your neighbor, then I had to show them by my example and my teaching them to live in an integrated neighborhood. And I was never going to ask anybody to do anything that I myself wouldn't do.

SHEILA C. BERNARD:

OK, cut. That's a nice answer. Um--