Creator Spotlight - Michael G. Long
This month we spoke with author Michael G. Long, who wrote Three Lines and a Circle, which explores the creation of the peace symbol.
I was inspired to write this while reading about Bayard Rustin, the pacifist leader who organized the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Dr. King shared his “I Have a Dream” speech. What a powerful protest that was! Rustin organized it in just eight short weeks, and he did it so well that violence was nowhere to be found. Rustin loved peacemaking, and he was in London when the peace symbol made its debut at a march against nuclear weapons. I read that Rustin was responsible for bringing the peace symbol across the ocean, back home to the United States, and that made me wonder about the origins of the peace symbol. Where did it come from? Who created it?
But there were other points of inspiration, too, like the peace symbols I see on neighborhood sidewalks. I love looking at the chalk drawings that children make in our neighborhood. They often include two things—a heart and a peace symbol. I thought it would be wonderful to share this story with the children who draw the symbol but probably don’t know about its humble beginning. My hope was to help children understand the possibility of creating a life full of joy, justice—and peace.