Black By God l The West Virginian

Kwanzaa: Kujichagulia

Black By God l The West Virginian

Kwanzaa: Kujichagulia

Kwanzaa Day 2

The second day of Kwanzaa (Dec. 27) is dedicated to the principle of Kujichagulia, which means self-determination. This principle encourages individuals to define themselves and shape their destiny, rather than allowing others to dictate their identity or determine their future. It is a time to celebrate the value of self-determination and reaffirm our commitment to shaping our destiny and creating a better future for ourselves and our community. One way to honor this principle during Kwanzaa is to reflect on the ways in which you have exercised self-determination in your own life, and to learn more about the history and struggles of the African American community in their journey towards self-determination.

We practiced Kujichagalia when naming Black By God. 

How to pronounce Kujichagalia

Three on BBG

Keep It Very Berry Next Year

According to Pantone, the color of 2023 is Viva Magenta, a crimson red tone that balances warm and cool colors. You can find this color popping up in everything next year, from shoes and accessories to home decor.

Read Jayli’s Winter Fashion Buzz

West Virginia Counties Could Spend Their Share of Opioid Settlements on Jails, Not Public Health

Under the agreement with the state, a county would be able to spend their entire share of opioid settlements on jail bills. Public health experts say incarceration leads to more overdoses and recommend other strategies.

Story by Allen Siegler, Mountain State Spotlight

The African American Press in West Virginia

African American newspapers in West Virginia during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries struggled to survive. Many were short lived, publishing issues for a couple of years at best. Some papers found themselves shutting down production for weeks or even months at a time, waiting for subscribers and advertisers to provide enough funding to begin publishing again.

Story by Rare Books & Printed Resources West Virginia University Library Curator Stewart Plein

Virtual Conversation on Diversity and Rural Organizing

The West Virginia Democratic Party Black Caucus is presenting training in coordination with The OutRun Coalition Thursday, January 5, 2023, 7:30 p.m.  The OutRun Coalition was founded to help rural Democrats organize and mobilize.  They have hosted training programs with State Democratic Parties all over the United States.  

Keynote speaker will be the Mayor of Talladega, Alabama, along with our other special guests: Corey Roman, Elliott Pritt, Miles Bannan, Eric Ball, Nate Fiene, and Aftyn Behn.  

Register here 

Read About: West Virginia Media in Crisis


The need for¬†Black¬†By¬†God¬†is amplified every day. The shrinking West Virginia press pool and the significant disparities in news funding across America and West Virginia’s nonprofit and Black news ecosystems.¬†I encourage you to read the articles BBG has shared and review the Media 2070¬†report for a deeper dive. In 2023, BBG’s ambition is to build a Folk-Reporters newsroom full of reporters, young ones like¬†Jayli,¬†retired ones, fired ones, and those that still hold a sustained outrage and compassion for the most vulnerable in West Virginia.¬†¬†

Please support our work, especially our vision for Folk Reporters and be on the look for our Black Policy & Industry Outlook insert on Jan. 6 and our full tabloid print on Feb. 15 for Black Policy Day.

~ CG 

Gazette-Mail Staff Say Skaff Abuses Power as President

House Minority Leader and President of HD Media, Doug Skaff (D ‚Äď Kanawha), allegedly directed staff to delete a story about his 2015 gambling scandal from the paper‚Äôs website. Reporters who‚Äôve worked under Skaff say his conflicted presence undermines the Pulitzer Prize-winning paper‚Äôs integrity. story by Kyle Vass

Meet the Press, What There is of It

In Steven Allen Adam’s column Reporters Notebook for The Parkersburg News & Sentinel, he writes about the lack of reporters covering the statehouse.

I actually worry for legislative coverage this coming year. This will be a very important session, especially since one party holds the vast majority of power. 

Reporters Who Condemned Interview of Ex-coal CEO John Blankenship Fired

Three newspaper reporters in West Virginia say they have been fired after publicly criticizing their company’s video interview with a convicted former coal executive

Read Associated Press reporter John Raby’s story

Publisher’s Note

I was watching Glass Onion over the holidays and was thrilled to see my friend, Yo-Yo Ma, in a scene!

Where in the world is Yo-Yo Ma? Anywhere and that place may be West Virginia! I hope you read and enjoy the¬†New York Times¬†article about his visit to West Virginia.¬†Black¬†By¬†God¬†played an important role in facilitating his visit. Read more about the experience on¬†Yo Yo’s web page¬†too. But the exciting news is the conversation is still ongoing!¬†Let me invite all of you to what I call Yo Yo’s Potluck, an experimental sound quilt project.¬†Join me, artists Robby Moore and Anna Gonzalez, who captured the sounds and textures of the curated Our Common Nature West Virginia experience featuring Yo-Yo Ma. The sounds from the¬†Our Common Nature¬†event captured the intimate sounds of Yo-Yo Ma playing riverside, children laughing, food being prepared, songs led by Kathy Mattea and Dom Flemons, and the delicate sound of crickets, to name a few. The Sound Quilt installation will be shared during an exhibit from March 24 – April 8 at the Beckley Arts Center and will feature a collaborative quilt with local quilters made with fabric by the participants¬†and the community¬†and an audio installation.¬†

The project is seeking fabric swatches (12.5×12.5) from community members. Fabric swatches should include the submitter’s name and a description of the swatch.


Crystal Good from Kanawha County is submitting one of my Dad’s WCHS TV news shirts. My Dad, a native of West Virginia and a¬†Black¬†man, retired from the news industry in West Virginia as one of the nation’s few¬†Black¬†news directors.¬†

Mail swatches to or drop off:

Beckley Arts Center, 600 Johnstown Road, Beckley, WV 25801 


~ Crystal 

~ Crystal 

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

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