Interview with Eleanor Josaitis
QUESTION 4
SHEILA C. BERNARD:

So you, you were watching the Civil Rights Movement and you were also watching the cities going up--

ELEANOR JOSAITIS:

Watching the cities going up and watching the Civil Rights Movement unfold and watching the anger and, and having it all brought to your living room--you had two choices. You could either watch it and feel some sort of empathy, and feel the confusion and wonder what you could do about it or you could watch it and completely ignore it, turn your back and pretend that it didn't exist at all. And I think in the suburbs where I was living at the time, both of those things were happening. But I can remember in, in the early 60s,, ah, being invited to a meeting of the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, who was coming over to the Taylor Library to give a talk that night. And in, in going over there carrying my little placard and walking around the library, opposed to the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, but that was not out of the ordinary. I mean the, the, I have to keep coming back to the word "confusion," because I think that's the word that summarizes it for me the more than anything else, confusion--what are we supposed to be feeling? But at the same time, I was fortunate because Father Cunningham was a weekend pastor of our parish which was St. Alfred's Parish in Taylor, and he would come out there every weekend to preach. And I was so taken back by his ability to articulate what was going on through the Gospels, if you will, and articulate the, the nonviolent movement of a Dr. King and preach the sermon and kind of make sense out of what was going on but also translate it in a way that made you compelled to listen and to respond to it. So when--

SHEILA C. BERNARD:

Let's stop. I'm sorry, you can finish if you want to.

ELEANOR JOSAITIS:

I just want to finish the thought because when he would, when he would--