Dale Long

Dale Long

Dale Hawkins Long was born in Tuskegee, Alabama, and reared in Birmingham where he graduated from high school in 1970. He accepted a music scholarship, becoming a member of the famous “Ocean of Soul” Marching Band of Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas, where he earned the Bachelor’s Degree in 1974. Dale now resides in the Dallas suburb of Garland, Texas where he is the Community Outreach Coordinator/Public Information Officer, the City of Dallas Public Works Department. He serves on a number of boards, is a founding member of the Garland Branch NAACP, and is a Life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. A compassionate advocate, for almost four decades he has been a volunteer mentor with Big Brothers and Big Sisters (BBBS) Lone Star and serves on a national task force to recruit volunteers and promote advocacy. Chief among his accomplishments are receiving the 1989 National Big Brother of the Year and the 2007 Clifford P. Norman National Award for local board participation both from Big Brothers and Sisters of America. From the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in 2012 he received the Drum Major for Service Award for his work with Mentoring Brothers in Action. For his passion and diligence in working with BBBSA he was featured in Forbes Magazine, the September 2007 issue of Essence Magazine, the June 2009 Ebony Magazine, the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams and listed in the 2011 Grio’s 100 Class by NBC News.

Dale has also been a speaker on the national platform, including the National Urban League, Congressional Black Caucus, and the United Methodist Church’s General Conference. In 1990 he shared the podium at the White House with President George H. Bush as the President announced one of his Youth Engaged in Service initiative http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=17182 In July of 2004 President George W. Bush, during the 40th Anniversary commemoration of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, included in his White House speech one of Dale’s childhood memories of growing up in Birmingham http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2004/07/20040701-10.html

His story of being a victim in the 1963 bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham is chronicled in the book, “Where I Come From”, by Bryan Woolley, published in 2003. In 2002 he was interviewed in the documentary to the FX film, “Sins of the Father.” Dale is married to Ellen Scott Long formerly of San Augustine, TX. They are proud parents of two daughters, Kendra Dale and Amber Nicole. He and his family are members of Hamilton Park United Methodist Church in Dallas. ” A “retired” marathon runner, he now enjoys fitness training and yoga.

It’s a place I’ll be drawn to for the rest of my life

I was 7, maybe 8, when I begged my father to take me to see a movie called The Shaggy Dog and had to enter the downtown Melba Theater through an alley stairway that led to the balcony where black folks had to sit. The place was filthy. I was embarrassed and sorry I had talked my dad into taking me. It was the last time I ever asked such a favor.

Our social life revolved around the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. There was something going on there seven days a week; potluck dinners, plays, music, activities for the kids. One Emancipation Day, Jackie Robinson, the first black player welcomed into the major leagues, came to speak to the congregation. It was a wonderful place where everyone felt at home, safe.

That changed on Sunday, September 15, 1963, when an exploding package of dynamite, put in place the night before by Ku Klux Klan members, killed four girls in the church basement.