Black By God l The West Virginian

BBG ON THE ROAD: From Hollywood to Hazard, KY

Black By God l The West Virginian

BBG ON THE ROAD: From Hollywood to Hazard, KY

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You can support our work today by contributing to our fundraising campaign. 

Three on BBG

Banned pride flags in the classroom

Students are fighting back. Aaron Reedy and Lonnie Medley, above, Morgantown High school seniors, attend a protest at the Monongalia County Board of Education building.

Read Ian Karbal’s Mountain State Spotlight story

Giving our community a new, invaluable voice

Leeshia Lee says writing for Black by God is a powerful feeling

I sent a letter  to: and in hopes of ending the digital divide and to make sure our Black churches have internet service, computers, and the digital skills needed to thrive online in West Virginia and the world. 

Dear West Virginia State Broadband Office

I live and vote in your state. Long before the pandemic highlighted our nation’s digital divide, Black churches have worked to expand internet access and provide educational opportunities for adults. Many churches were among the vanguard in establishing computer labs for parishioners and members of the public. Black church leaders are uniquely positioned to help members of their communities get connected to the internet. That’s why the Black Churches 4 Digital Equity (BC4DE) Coalition is working with 25 Black churches and Black church nonprofit organizations across the country to end the digital divide as we now know it. I support the BC4DE Coalition’s view that Black church leaders can use their trusted voices to raise awareness of low-cost internet options, work with the state to build sustainable digital equity plans, and help execute those plans.

I also believe that Black Churches and other multi-faith nonprofits should be designated as Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs) at the state level to help Black communities gain the connectivity, tools and skills needed to take full advantage of digital opportunities for advancement.

I hope our state’s Digital Equity Plan will recognize the important role Black churches can play to raise awareness of broadband assistance programs, offer digital skills classes, and help members of our community get connected.

Crystal Good

Founder/Publisher Black By God THE WEST VIRGINIAN

Three to Know


Marshall Professor to be Honored

Huntington, West Virginia will honor longtime Marshall University social work professor and activist Phil Carter with a street dedication on Oct. 28.The city will be dedicating the portion on Ninth Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues at 10:30 a.m. at a ceremony honoring Carter’s life and accomplishments.

Story in The Ironton Tribune

Giving Back to the Community

Jacqueline Proctor, deputy commissioner of the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services, has spent the last 17 years working with various state agencies. She was recently recognized by the West Virginia Women’s Commission at the 2022 Legacy of Women Award ceremony with the Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Government and Public Service Award.

Herald-Dispatch story by Sarah Ingram

INROADS College Links returns to Charleston to support minority students

Charleston Gazette-Mail story by Caity Coyne

Tragedy of North Birmingham

Industrial plants in Birmingham, Alabama — including one now owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s family — have polluted the air and land in its historic Black communities for over a century.

Read the Mountain State Spotlight story

Publisher’s Note

From Hollywood to Hazard, Ky, and all the magic in between!

Column 1, Down

1. I had the pleasure of keynoting a fantastic conference at ETSU with Bryan Terrel Clark. We had a good laugh with Pres. Noland at ETSU.  Prez Noland knows how to throw up a West Virginia sign! 

2. Trying to make friends at the ONA conference, I made a sign –>"Hi!I LOVE to talk about Appalachia! Curious? Have the same passion? Holler."

3. Cheesing with Yo-Yo Ma after our pop-up performance at Grandview lookout! Unfortunately, the media cut me out and never credited my performance, but I will write about that soon. 

4. West Virginia tourism is trying to brand us as a Sasquatch country, but now we know the truth –> T-shirt from Appalachian Apparel 

5. With April Ross, Owner of the BeeTV Network; Liz Alarcón, founder/executive director of Project Pulso; Tracie Powell, CEO of The Pivot Fund; me, and Luella Brien, founder/editor of Four Points Media at the ONA conference in LA: "Mugshots and Feathers” The Mis- and Disinformation of Traditional Journalism."

6. My head and heart are full of BIG ideas from the Appalachian Big Ideas Fest in Hazard, KY.  Look at all the cool people that shared in the ABIF

Column 2, Down

7. VisitingThe Keane Sentinel printing press in Keane, N.H.

8. Visting the Spotted Newt Book store with Carter Sickles and Neema Avssha.

9. Post-paneling with Four Points Media founder newsy crow girl 

10. Glowing with retired  WV coal miner Zora " Big Mama" Stroud and her daughter Diane Williams at Nuttleberg after Yo-Yo, Don Flemmings, and Kathy Mattea sang Country Roads for a group of retired coal miners.  Diane also got blessed with a few notes of "I Owe My Soul to the Company Store."

11. Talking "So you wanna start a newsroom" at ONA with my WVU Newstart Peeps   

12. In a kudzu forest in Hazard, Ky., at the end of the most fantastic week and the beginning of new confidence and renewed purpose! 

13. Mike and Amy Costello with the Lost Creek Farm crew, who orchestrated the most amazing outdoor dinner with Yo-Yo Ma and friends! 

14. Introducing Poet Laureates of Kentucky and the U.S. at ABIF. I read my poem, SISSY.

Column 3, Down  

15. Radically Rural conference was dope. I got to hang with The Daily Yonder folks. 

16. Poet laureates Crystal Wilkinson and Ada Limon at ABIF. 

"Reality TV can be healing" ~ Crystal Wilkinson. 

"Audre Lorde has a way of working with nature that comforts me." ~ Ada Limon 

17. Drinking RC Cola with retired coal miners and the Yo-Yo Ma crew! 

18. My dearest mentor Dr. T Ford Ahmed, at the Radically Rural Conference, where she shared her efforts to preserve Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Athens, Ohio

19. Dom Fleming and his beautiful wife Vania Kinard at Lost Creek Farm 

20. Visiting The Keane Sentinel newsroom with my Radically Rural peeps! 


22. Visiting my kind and brilliant oldest son Myles for an LA dinner at the Girl & the Goat 

23. Visiting my Grandmother’s high school and homeplace in Johnson City.  I’m Appalachian as far back as I can trace on both sides. 

Whew. What a week! I am thankful and looking forward to watering these seeds.

Keep Good,

~ Crystal 

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

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