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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 Gay Is Good: The Life and Letters of Gay Rights Pioneer Franklin Kameny (Syracuse University Press); 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

Was Mister Rogers Racist? Twelve Facts About Our Favorite Neighbor

(61) Comments | Posted August 7, 2015 | 3:55 PM

Fred Rogers, the beloved creator of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, never marched in the black civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King, Jr. Although the registered Republican was far from a street protestor, Rogers eventually became a quiet advocate of racial integration. But even as an integrationist, Rogers worked with...

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The Radical Politics of Mister Rogers: 10 Fascinating Facts

(8) Comments | Posted April 15, 2015 | 2:36 PM

Yes, Fred Rogers was a gentle soul who liked us just as we are. But if we place him in historical context, we can see that he was also politically progressive and fiercely dedicated to sharing his values of radical nonviolence and justice. Here are 10 little-known facts about Rogers's...

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Is Mister Rogers in Heaven? Fred Rogers and the Faithfulness of God

(33) Comments | Posted March 18, 2015 | 12:05 PM

This Lenten season has witnessed a fascinating public debate about whether the everlasting fires of hell have been scorching Judas, the Great Betrayer, for the past 2,000 years. But an infinitely more interesting and challenging question is whether Fred Rogers, the beloved host of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, is suffering in...

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Wasn't He a Sniper? Mister Rogers and Peace in the Neighborhood

(3) Comments | Posted December 24, 2014 | 2:04 PM

Fred Rogers was not a Navy Seal sniper with thirty confirmed kills during the Vietnam War. Nor was he a Marine who hid his death-dealing skills by presenting himself as a kind and gentle soul. Although it's easy to find these claims on the Internet, the real truth is that...

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Jesus and American Sniper: A Call to Resist

(0) Comments | Posted December 16, 2014 | 5:33 PM

Nothing says "Jesus is born" quite like American Sniper. Or that's what Hollywood would have you believe as it entices you to leave your home on Christmas Day so you catch the release of its new blockbuster about a Navy SEAL sniper who kills so-called bad people. Those who follow...

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What Would Mister Rogers Eat? Thanksgiving in the Neighborhood

(4) Comments | Posted November 21, 2014 | 7:51 AM

What would Fred Rogers eat for Thanksgiving? There's one thing we know for certain: He was not inclined to bow his head and offer thanks for a roasted turkey, let alone to carve and consume it. "I don't want to eat anything that has a mother," he often said.

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'Wasn't He Gay?': A Revealing Question About Mister Rogers

(175) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 9:21 PM

"Wasn't he gay?" That's what people often ask me when they learn that I'm working on a book about Fred Rogers -- the beloved creator, writer, and host of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. I've come to believe that the question, however intended, reveals just as much about the questioners as it...

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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?

(30) 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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