A native of Alabama, Long met Albuquerque’s Ernie Pyle during their World War II service in Okinawa. Pyle convinced Long to enroll in the University of New Mexico following the war. Although he originally planned to pursue a degree in Education, his activism to desegregate Albuquerque restaurants and businesses redirected him toward UNM’s Law program. With the help of other members of the UNM Chapter of the NAACP, Long drafted the Civil Rights ordinance that became law in Albuquerque in 1953.
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