Interview with Eleanor Josaitis
QUESTION 15
SHEILA C. BERNARD:

Sorry, you need to say at least what "Focus Hope" is.

ELEANOR JOSAITIS:

Want me to start over?

SHEILA C. BERNARD:

Yes.

ELEANOR JOSAITIS:

After we moved back into the city and Focus Hope--the organization that I was involved with and co-founded with Father Cunningham, began to take our message of, of working together, Black and White people together, to anybody that would listen to us. We took it into the pulpits, ah, we had home meetings afterwards where we would have the church community open up their homes and bring Black and White people together to talk. And the reaction that we were getting is, ah, one of acceptance, one of, "Hurray, I'm glad we finally talk," one of trying to understand one another, and again, the opposite of that which is, "Don't bring your message out here to the suburbs, I don't want to hear it, I don't want to be a part of anything you're talking about, and s- let's, keep the riots there and I don't have to be a part of it." And, ah, being asked to leave places and, ah, ah, being very confused by that and, ah, more than frustrated by it. Ah, again, I have to go back to Dr. King and how difficult it must have been for him to be constantly confronted with the hatred and the, and the violence, and the reaction, and experiencing just some of that myself, and wrestling with it and saying, "How do you deal with it, how do you forgive, how do you move forward?" But--