Black By God l The West Virginian


Black By God l The West Virginian


Mavery Davis, standing, and children, from left, Averi Davis (10), Amir Davis (8), Aiden Davis (4)

On BBG: Black Tie Ball

A Father Reflects on What a Black-Tie Gala Means to Community 

I had the opportunity to accompany three of my kids on Nov 19 to a red-carpet, "Black Tie Ball" in their honor. The joy and excitement on their faces was not something I took for granted. From the decor at the Charleson Woman’s Club with beautiful balloon arches to the event’s flow and music theroom was full of formally-dressed families. 

Read the story by Mavery Davis

Terrica Maxwell and her family enjoy a moment at The Ball.
Young Tuff performs at the Black Tie Ball Nov. 19, 2022

It’s Giving Tuesday!

Black by God joins other community organizations in its first Giving Tuesday fundraising campaign. We’re excited to be part of a worldwide day when supporters donate to uplift important missions that serve our community.

BBG remains committed to its mission of amplifying, informing and celebrating Black life via local, independent news and culture stories.

Since launching, we’ve grown our e-newsletter to more than 3,000 subscribers and have distributed more than 40,000 printed papers this year!

We have a big vision for 2023 that includes maintaining what we’ve built, hiring writers, boosting our internship program, Folk Reporters, and presenting BBG culturally-relevant events.

And we have this offer page:

Three to Read

West Virginians on alert after alleged racially-charged incidents

Residents in Cabell County say they are concerned after several alleged racially-charged incidents have occurred recently, including one in a company work truck.

Read the WOWK story by Anna King

Sentenced to Trauma: Inside the Volatility and Disorder of Prison

I have been in the penal system since 2004. I have been changed, but not for the better.

Read the Scalawag story by Carla J. Simmons

Every minute of the day feels as if there is a giant snake contracting around my chest. Sometimes I lay in my bunk in the corpse pose and try to relax my body, one small section at a time. I can make a little progress with my feet, a little more with my knees, but my chest is caught in a trap.

Clinton-Era Adoption Law Still Devastates Black Families Today

This month marks the 25th anniversary of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. Promoted as a way to rescue children—especially Black children—languishing in America’s overloaded foster system, ASFA has had the opposite impact. By speeding up termination of parents’ rights, it has dramatically increased the chances that Black families, which are disproportionately separated by state child welfare authorities, will be permanently torn apart.

Read the Slate story by Dorothy Roberts

Donate to Leeshia Lee’s Third Annual Jumpshots 4 Jackets Charity Basketball Game on Dec. 11, 2022. The event seeks to collect 200 new coats for local after-school programs.

A Black newspaper based out of Charleston,called The Advocate’s front page on Nov. 28, 1907 (115 years ago — almost to the day!) boasted the tagline:The Advocate Contains More News Any Other Race Paper Published – $1.50. Click to browse issues at the Library of Congress

Publisher’s Note

The First Black Newspaper in West Virginia?

In my lifetime, JR Clifford has been credited as the publisher of the first Black newspaper in West Virginia, The Pioneer Press. Thanks to historian John Muller, we now know that Clifford bought the paper from an energetic and enthusiastic young entrepreneur, George Washington Welcome. 

Both Clifford and Muller were contemporaries of Fredrick Douglass. Douglass is the center of Muller’s work that WVPB reported. Muller’s work is fascinating! I’m excited to participate in his Fredrick Douglass walking tour and honored that he is writing with BBG.

Read Muller’s article

Black history does not scratch the surface quickly. But, it must be called for. And, then, the great duty of remembering long enough to tell. For some stories,that can be centuries.

Muller is digging.

Read his latest tweet about THREE possible black papers before the Pioneer Press

The WV NDNP Newspaper Project Director and Curator of Rare Books & Printed Resources at West Virginia University Libraries, Stewart Plein, is also digging.

She has digitized West Virginias Black newspapers for the Library Of Congress for years. WVU is on its sixth NEH grant to digitize these archives. Plein and WVU are doing important work.

I recently visited the library, and Stewart reminded me that the collection is only as robust as what history could save. As a result, some history is only remembered, and the rest, like the McDowell Times 1920 editions, are lost. 

I’m hopeful that more history will be found and remembered with Black By God’s interest and a growing community of readers who express interest in the history of West Virginia’s Black newspapers.

Muller is digging. WVU Libraries are digging. BBG is digging. 

I welcome you to join in the search for the first Black newspaper and publisher in West Virginia.

~ Crystal 

BBG is proud to be in the tradition of “race papers” who know that advertisements in our columns bring results.

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

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