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Michael G. Long
Michael G. Long is an associate professor of religious studies and peace and conflict studies at Elizabethtown College and is the author or editor of several books on civil rights, religion, and politics in mid-century America, including Beyond Home Plate: Jackie Robinson on Life after Baseball (Syracuse University Press); Martin Luther King, Jr., Homosexuality, and the Early Gay Rights Movement (Palgrave Macmillan); I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin’s Life in Letters (City Lights); Marshalling Justice: The Early Civil Rights Letters of Thurgood Marshall (Amistad/HarperCollins); and First Class Citizenship: The Civil Rights Letters of Jackie Robinson (Times Books). Long’s work has been featured or reviewed in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, USA Today, CNN, Book Forum, Ebony/Jet, and many other newspapers and journals. Long blogs for the Huffington Post and has appeared on C-Span and NPR. His speaking engagements have taken him from the National Archives in Washington, D.C., to the Schomberg Center of the New York Public Library in Harlem, and to the City Club of San Diego. Long holds a Ph.D. from Emory University in Atlanta and resides in Highland Park, Pennsylvania.

Entries by Michael G. Long

Making Way for Jackie Robinson: The Quiet Fight of the Brown Bomber

(1) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 4:09 PM

It's that time of the year when we honor Jackie Robinson for breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball in the twentieth century. While he appreciated the sentiment, Robinson often recalled he was not the only black pioneer in sports, and he frequently paid tribute to his predecessor and...

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Like Father, Like Son: Billy Graham's Advice to a Lesbian

(93) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 3:27 PM

Franklin Graham cloaked himself in his father's legacy when he recently condemned gay adoption as "recruitment" and expressed fear about a gay political agenda. "My father never worried about polls," he stated. "I don't care about them, either. And with the issues we are facing today -- if...

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Bayard Rustin: Politically Targeted, Spiritually Resilient, Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2013 | 12:57 PM

Bayard Rustin had just eight weeks to plan the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and by all accounts his leadership was visionary and masterful. It's also no doubt part of the reason that today he is posthumously receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The prestigious award, coupled...

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Jackie Robinson on Courage -- and Slugging a Nazi

(4) Comments | Posted August 19, 2013 | 3:04 PM

The Brooklyn Cyclones, the Single-A affiliate of the New York Mets, will soon rededicate the Jackie Robinson/Pee Wee Reese statue recently defaced outside their ballpark on historic Coney Island. Now removed from the statue, the graffiti included racist and anti-Semitic messages as well as an image of a swastika. It...

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Celebrate Rachel Robinson, Too!

(3) Comments | Posted April 11, 2013 | 3:35 PM

The release of 42 is important not just because it introduces a new generation to Jackie Robinson's courageous role in shattering racial barriers in Major League Baseball but especially because it draws our attention to one of the unsung heroes of the civil rights movement (which Robinson helped to build)...

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Jackie Robinson Beyond Home Plate

(3) Comments | Posted March 21, 2013 | 4:05 PM

It's virtually impossible for us to imagine that Jackie Robinson could have been any more aggressive than he was when he stole home plate in the first game of the 1955 World Series. But in 1968 Robinson suggested that he pursued his post-baseball career -- which included fundraising for the...

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Bayard Rustin in His Own Words: "I Must Resist"

(0) Comments | Posted March 14, 2013 | 9:55 PM

This past year we have celebrated the centennial of the birth of Bayard Rustin, the brilliant strategist of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom as well as many other campaigns for civil and human rights. As the centennial comes to a close this weekend, it seems appropriate...

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Coretta's Big Dream: Coretta Scott King on Gay Rights

(0) Comments | Posted January 31, 2013 | 5:23 PM

If Bernice King, now head of the King Center in Atlanta, wants to advance her father's dream at this year's 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, she can do no better than to follow the courageous example set by her mother, Coretta Scott King, a...

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Would King Support Same-Sex Marriage?

(31) Comments | Posted January 18, 2013 | 5:10 PM

Nationally prominent ministers across the country have recently claimed Martin Luther King Jr. as a source of inspiration and instruction for their various campaigns against same-sex marriage. But the historical evidence suggests that these anti-gay ministers are abusing the legacy of the greatest civil rights leader of the twentieth century....

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Mr. President: Let King's Bible Go!

(44) Comments | Posted January 16, 2013 | 2:21 PM

President Barack Obama will take the oath of office for his second term with his hand placed on a Bible once owned by Martin Luther King, Jr. It would be far better for the president and all political leaders to give expression, in word and deed, to the Bible in...

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From Black to Gay: Julian Bond on Civil Rights and Gay Rights

(288) Comments | Posted January 11, 2013 | 5:12 PM

There is an inextricable connection between the civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King, Jr. and the contemporary movement for LGBTQ rights. So says veteran civil rights leader and former NAACP chair Julian Bond.

While many individuals and groups have opposed Bond's efforts to establish a close alliance...

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On Giglio, Machiavelli and Nixon: Stop the Benedictions!

(3) Comments | Posted January 10, 2013 | 3:26 PM

While I am delighted, even ticked pink, that the Obama inauguration team has rescinded its invitation to Rev. Louie Giglio (and his vicious anti-gay tirades), I remain convinced that any believer, liberal or conservative, should refuse to offer a benediction -- a good word -- at the presidential inauguration.


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Advice for Rev. Giglio: Remember Machiavelli -- and Nixon

(6) Comments | Posted January 9, 2013 | 10:32 AM

Remember Machiavelli. That's my unsolicited advice for Rev. Louie Giglio after reading that the Obama team has selected him to deliver the benediction -- a good word -- at this month's presidential inauguration.

Machiavelli understood, arguably better than anyone of his age, that religion can be an effective tool for...

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Peter Gomes and Billy Graham: A Holy Love

(26) Comments | Posted November 30, 2012 | 7:00 PM

Peter Gomes was never easy to label. Conservative evangelicals were quick to criticize the firebrand liberalism he occasionally displayed during his long tenure as Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church at Harvard University. And yet a photograph of Billy Graham, hero to evangelicals across the globe, towered above all others...

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Jackie Robinson, Not Karl Rove

(6) Comments | Posted November 9, 2012 | 8:38 AM

For a long time, the Republican National Committee touted Jackie Robinson as an all-star Republican on its website. But rather than merely displaying Robinson as a hero of the party, Republican leadership should have accepted pointed advice he offered back in the 1960s: Don't become a white man's...

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Behind the Billy Pulpit: Will the Real Billy Graham Please Stand Up?

(29) Comments | Posted October 25, 2012 | 5:02 PM

Billy Graham does not write the national column that still appears under his name in newspapers across the country, and it is likely that he did not pen the words in the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) advertisements currently running in local and national print media.

The advertisements typically...

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Billy Graham's Anti-Gay Fundamentalism

(14) Comments | Posted October 17, 2012 | 11:05 AM

It may seem unkind to criticize a beloved preacher who is about to turn 94 -- unless that preacher is an uncharitable Rev. Billy Graham spending his last years trying to defeat the movement for same-sex marriage.

Graham has a reputation as a diplomatic evangelist who has largely sought to...

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An Open Letter to Rev. Bernice King

(4) Comments | Posted October 11, 2012 | 8:51 AM

Dear Rev. King,

I've recently learned that you will assume a leading role in organizing the 50th anniversary of the historic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where your father dared to share his dream of a nation free from discrimination and prejudice. May I encourage you, as...

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Bayard Rustin, Mr. March on Washington at 100

(4) Comments | Posted August 13, 2012 | 5:51 PM

This year marks the centennial of the birth of Bayard Rustin, one of the most significant yet ignored figures in U.S. history. Rustin was the brilliant strategist of the pinnacle event in U.S. protest politics: the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He was also an openly gay...

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Jackie Robinson on the 4th: The Prophet and the Flag

(10) Comments | Posted July 5, 2012 | 10:42 AM

One of the quiet but powerful engines that drove Jackie Robinson's passion for racial integration both on and beyond the baseball diamond was a faith long nurtured in the black church -- a prophetic faith that extolled freedom and equality, justice and dignity, unity and belonging. It was this same...

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