BBG The West Virginian Newsletter

Multifest

Multifest

THANK YOU MULTIFEST

We distributed over 1,000 copies of “Lil BBG” at Multifest! Like everyone else, we endured the rain and heat, to celebrate the 32nd Multifest and to admire our readers, contributors, and our community.

It was amazing.

We surveyed our readers to find out what they imagine a Black news organization in West Virginia could do for them. The results show an overwhelming desire for hyper-local-positive stories about the Balck community and the need for information on small businesses, agriculture (farming/cannabis), health, and education.

Some readers shared a direct need for investigative journalism in their local community. Sharing concerns that range from questions like “Are Charleston Habitat for Humanity homes falling into disarray?” to details and infographics on where nonprofits may or may not be spending ARPA money in Black communities.

We loved seeing our photojournalist and features reporter Leeshia Lee on stage, hosting the Friday night events with our Lil BBG cover Girls, Neenee Incognita and Nakkia Ayers, The Cunningham Sisters, Klymaxx and Mya.

Leeshia Lee’s Video with BBG went viral too!  Please watch as Mr. Petty shares the stage with Mya!

BBG will be at the Clarksburg Black Heritage Festival on September 10.  Hopefully, we’ll see you there!

THREE ON BBG

1. Multifest still a beacon of the need for the Black press 

Multifest’s success story points to the power of the Black press. No media organization in West Virginia except The Beacon Digest felt the need at that time to have that conversation about the Regatta. The paper served as the catalyst for change.

2. WV Women’s Business Center to Provide Free Mentoring for Aspiring Minority Business Owners

3. The Change Agent: Huntington’s First Black Police Chief vs. The Overdose Capital

WEST VIRGINIA: WILD, WONDERFUL AND WHITE

Read Metro News Columnist Hoppy Kercheval’s commentary on the state’s lack of diversity

Listen to David Fryson discuss the column with Hoppy Kercheval.

And, from Scalawag: White reporters, it’s time to pop your parachute and share your byline. ‘Why haven’t other journalists offered this to me?’ Lessons on relinquishing ego, decentering whiteness, and co-reporting in rural Mississippi.

TONIGHT: AFRICAN AMERICAN BASEBALL

BBG will be giving every attendee this memento, honoring the often forgotten history of West Virginia’s Negro Coalfield Baseball Players.

To learn more about the coal miners who played baseball in the segregated coalfield leagues and were some of the world’s best athletes, please watch this short film by  BBG’s Crystal Good.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE

Dear Readers,

BBG has been a great successful experiment so far — but without a sizable grant (we are working on this) BBG will not be able to grow or publish as we hope.

We are in need of a generous benefactor that can keep us afloat for the next three months (responses on our grant submissions may come in by November). In the meantime, we hope to keep our newsletter going and produce a 12-page November issue, offering information about the elections and sharing the celebrations of our communities. This issue will be distributed into 15 counties holding the highest Black percentages.

In order for this to happen, we need runway capital. After watching the award-winning Black in the Newsroom mini-documentary, we are committed to paying for the time and talents of our reporters and graphics teams at a respectable rate and market rate.

We are proud that Tiara Brown, representing BBG, is the first Black reporter in anyone’s memory to ever sit on the floor of the WV Legislature as press. She covered the special legislative session last week on House Bill 302: Clarifying West Virginia’s abortion laws and plans to continue following the session this coming week.

It’s a sad fact that in 2022, BBG is still integrating the WV media landscape in many ways, including the presence of four Black women (Kabrea James, Crystal Good, Tiara Brown, and Leeshia Lee, above, from left) at the West Virginia Press Association convention.

Integrating institutional spaces historically dominated by white peopleis not an easy experience. But we did it.

I am and we are resourceful and resilient. We will find a way to keep BBG going and keep showing up, because Black visibility matters.

The archives of the Black press in West Virginia remind us that we are not alone in these struggles.

In 1944 the editor of the West Virginia Black newspaper West Virginia Digest, I.J.K. Wells, reminds us:

“The West Virginia Digest, the people’s paper, will no doubt appear infrequently…. It will not make its weekly schedule for some time.  Because you fail to see it every week, don’t think it’s dead.  The cause for which it stands cannot die, and because there is a need for a newspaper, this one or some other one will spring up from time to time.”

~ Crystal Good

Publisher/Founder of BBG

Our mailing address:
2156 University Ave Suite 400
Morgantown, WV 26505

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