In 1960, Long was one of the first African American children to integrate Roanoke's public schools. She later became the first African American graduate of Hollins (Class of 1970). Long was repeatedly told that a black woman could only be a waitress, housekeeper, or childcare provider. Instead, she found a path for women who could go against the grain and make a difference for themselves and the community. She became a lay minister in the United Methodist Church as a way of putting her faith into action. Black History Month event.