Dr. Long is more than just a professor at Elizabethtown College. He is a man of great intelligence and wisdom. He uses these skills to give lectures and speeches at different universities and venues across the United States. He also blogs for the Huffington Post and recently appeared on C-Span’s Book-TV. His books have also been featured or reviewed by the Washington Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Gay & Lesbian Review, and many others.
I recently spoke with Dr. Long about his success and how he got to this point in his life. He recently spoke on Bayard Rustin at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. When asked what he spoke about and how his experience with the club was he said, “We focused a lot on the implications of Rustin’s work for contemporary politics and civil rights. The Commonwealth Club is a beautiful club in San Francisco, it is very professional and they have had some wonderful speakers there in the past years. I considered it a great honor to be at the club, and to represent Elizabethtown College.” The next major lecture that Dr. Long will be giving is focusing on Jackie Robinson and it will be held at George Washington University in October. “I will be talking primarily about his contributions to civil rights and politics. Robinson was a major leader in the civil rights movement. He was an informal leader, he worked with such people as Martin Luther King Jr. and also did some work with Bayard Rustin. I will also be talking about his relationship with politics and some presidents.” In November, Dr. Long will be joining a professor from UCLA who has also written about Bayard Rustin and they will highlight Rustin’s contributions to the civil rights movement.
In addition to giving lectures and writing his own books, Dr. Long also blogs for the Huffington Post. I asked Dr. Long how his experience with that has been and how that opportunity came about. Dr. Long said he was having an online conversation about religion with Paul Rauschenbush. They were talking about Martin Luther King and gay rights and Rauschenbush was interviewing Dr. Long and during the course of the interview he offered Dr. Long a platform in religion and eventually Dr. Long accepted the invitation. “It has been a very positive experience so far. I really enjoy hearing from people far and wide. Blogging online for the Huffington Post has been a rich and valuable learning experience for me.” Dr. Long’s work has been reviewed or noted nationwide. The New York Times, LA Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post, and Chicago Sun Times have all reviewed some of Dr. Long’s work. “This has also been a positive learning experience for me as well. It’s rewarding to read critical reviews of my work that help me understand what I’ve done.” Dr. Long said one of the most rewarding things for him so far has been featured on C-Span’s Book-TV. He likes that the program reaches a very wide audience and many people can see him and hear his opinions. “I have spent countless hours by myself in front of a computer and I often wonder if anyone will get to see what I do. So it is very rewarding when I hear from people across the country.”
To speak on religion and politics, and to broadcast your views and opinions really takes a lot of courage. Dr. Long displays this courage every time he is asked to speak, or when he blogs, or when he writes an article. I asked Dr. Long where he found this confidence to stand out and say what he believes and where some of his inspirations have come from. “I’ve always enjoyed debating people and listening to a wide perspective of views and I believe that my parents and my family instilled that in me in many ways.” Dr. Long is very passionate about what he writes and has enjoyed studying and reading works from great writers and thinkers. He wants to set an example for his family and said, “I want to make a better world for my two sons.” By speaking out and displaying his views Dr. Long is accepting the reality that some people might not agree with him but he does not shy away from disagreements or conflicting opinions. He embraces every bit of feedback he receives and that has made him grow and learn as a person. There is no question that Dr. Long represents himself in a very professional manner and is definitely someone who represents Elizabethtown well. All of his writings that have been published and the recognition that he has received shows that his hard work over the past years has paid off. In regards to voicing your opinion and standing up for what you believe, Dr. Long says, “Throw up your flag and see if anyone salutes, if they don’t throw it up again.”