Black by God l The West Virginian

Proud of Our Legislative Coverage

Black by God l The West Virginian

Proud of Our Legislative Coverage

Winding Down at the Legislature

As the Legislature comes to an end, we’d like to thank all our #folkreporters for a great job covering issues. (And thanks to Jaime Miller for capturing the Folk Reporter spirit)

Making Black Policies Happen

Black communities in West Virginia know what policies could make their lives better. Now they need them to happen.

Read the story originally published in Mountain State Spotllight by P.R. Lockhart

There are Still Opportunities to Participate

 These days can feel overwhelming and one can wonder whether speaking out makes a difference. It does. You can show others that they are not alone.

RiseUpWV notes these upcoming events:

Thursday, March 9: 2-4pm.

Rally for LGBTQIA+ and Trans Rights at the Capitol  https://fb.me/e/2wiRYom2Q

Thursday, March 9: 5 pm.

Planning session for Juneteenth Parade and celebration in Charleston at the Roosevelt Neighborhood Center

Contact RiseUpWV

Friday, March 10: 11 am.

Mothers and families of those who senselessly died in the Southern Regional Jail will be joined by the West Virginia Poor People’s Campaign, clergy, directly impacted people, and their partners to demand support from Gov. Jim Justice and Senior Sen. Joe Manchin. West Virginia mothers and families deserve answers and explanations about what is happening in the regional jails in their state. We must have a full independent civil rights division investigation from the Department of Justice into the conditions at these jails. 

More information

Catch it Before March 19

A current exhibit on display in the Clay Center’s Juliet Art Museum, “More than a Passing Observation”: William Louis Sonntag and Landscape Mania in the United States,” explores paintings by William Sonntag and his peers; including African-American landscape painter Robert Duncanson.

Robert S. Duncanson (1821-1872) was an African-American artist who became one of the most prominent landscape painters in the mid-19th century United States. His work was characterized by his use of soft, luminous colors and a focus on the natural world.

Despite facing discrimination as a Black artist in a predominantly white art world, Duncanson gained significant success during his lifetime. He exhibited his work in major cities across the United States and Europe.

This exhibition will be on display until March 19, only two weeks remain to enjoy! For additional information, visit the Clay Center online at www.theclaycenter.org. 

Three on to Read (or Watch)

Displacing Black Farmers in Appalachia

How the Tennessee Valley Authority Act uprooted thousands of families.

The United States has a long history of the government forcing people off their land—just ask those from Indigenous communities. In Appalachia, one particularly impactful development-induced displacement event was prompted by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Act.

Read The Progressive story by Joy Loving

How Black Queer Culture Shaped History

In this tribute to forgotten icons, queer culture historian and TED Fellow Channing Gerard Joseph shares their little-known stories, connecting the origins of drag in the 1880s to the present day and exploring the awesome power to choose how we define ourselves.

Watch the TED Talk

Bluefield’s East End is the Focus of National Infrastructure Pilot Program

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced earlier this week that Bluefield will be part of the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program, with $185 million grant awards going to 45 communities.

Bluefield’s East End, which has historically been an African-American community, was one of three communities in Bluefield selected to be showcased in the program.

Read the Register-Herald story by Charles Booth

2023 Applications Now Open

Deadline: May 1, 2023, 11:59 pm EST

Oour ancestral grandmothers braided seeds and promise into their hair before being forced onto transatlantic slave ships. They believed, against odds, that their descendants would exist to inherit, plant, and pass on that seed.

The Braiding Seeds Fellowship, a project of Soul Fire Farm Institute in collaboration with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, carries on the legacy of the braided seeds by providing beginning farmers with resources, professional development, and mentorship to support their livelihood on land.

More information

Change in the Coalfields

Space Dreamin’

Space Dreamin’ is an online talk show by @EuphoriccDreams dedicated to seeing things from a higher perspective. Embark on a celestial journey, exploring topics such as time and space, relationships, technology, current events and spirituality

Crystal Good, Founder of BBG, proudly holds the latest print alongside Yahweh B Yahweh, RN BSN, CEO of Nurse Beez Family Solutions, Inc., at Black Policy Day, 2023. Photo by Leeshia Lee.

Note from the Publisher

Dear Readers,

As the West Virginia legislative session draws to a close, I find myself feeling a sense of relief, not because of the slew of harmful bills that have passed, but because I see a great need for the work of Folk Reporters and the potential impact of BBG and Black Policy Day in 2024 and beyond. Both political parties, Republicans and Democrats, need the support of Black West Virginians.

Republicans, in particular, have ignored and marginalized the Black population. Yet, under Democratic leadership, West Virginia lost over 50% of its Black population. The upcoming Republican primary for Governor in West Virginia is sure to be full of commercials and mailers trying to outdo each other in who has the most guns, the most judgmental god, the most anti-anti-abortion, and LGBTQ+ positions. I won’t be surprised if the run-offs may include who eats the most coal for breakfast, and we are already seeing the "Fighting Governor" boxing matches. 

Republican primary candidates would do well to remember that there is a Black voting population in their midst who could make or break their campaigns. Rumors are swirling about Joe Manchin’s political ambitions and whether he will run as a Democrat or an Independent. Either way, Manchin’s decision to run, to not run, if he switches parties, or not – his decision will change West Virginia. Today I learned that  BBG was rejected for office space at a community facility due to our perceived political nature. Some people have said we are too political, others not political enough. As a hands-on publisher, my beliefs inevitably seep through, but I hope BBG is seen as a factual and necessary resource. 

BBG is listening to our readers and working hard to build a community that will hold us accountable.I am proud of our work with Folk Reporters, and while the project still needs a lot of work, we have been overwhelmed with support and appreciation for the #folkreporters movement.I encourage you to support and critique our work as we strive for accountability, representation, and media justice for Black West Virginians.

Sincerely,

Crystal Good 

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