Black By God l The West Virginian

Back to School

Black By God l The West Virginian

Back to School

Back to School

Mahaylah Ramage named East Fairmont High School Band Queen Bee

FAIRMONT — East Fairmont High School’s first Black Queen Bee, Mahaylah Ramage, will lead the Busy Bee Band into the season at their first football game on Aug. 25.Ramage has been involved in band since sixth grade and became a Honeybee when she was a sophomore. Now, as a senior, she will work front-and-center to direct the band.

West Virginia Black Voter Impact Initiative Policy Agenda Meeting Sept. 6

RSVP and Register More info at

Participate in developing a black policy agenda. WVBVII’s purpose is to embrace, educate, and empower black people to vote and focuses on the importance of voting and getting involved in electoral politics by running for office or supporting those who are running for office.

Three on BBG

Illustration by Jamie Miller

What’s the plan for the overdose capital? Ignoring it isn’t working.

Kanawha County and Charleston took over Cabell County and Huntington’s fatal overdose numbers in 2018.

Read the story by Joe Solomon and Dr. Frank Annie

Black students represent 4% of West Virginia public school students but received 10% of all out-of-school suspensions and 8% of expulsions.

Read the Charleston Gazette-Mail story

Morgantown Hosts Public Art Exhibit

Listening for Racial Understanding, a recording project conceived by Morgantown residents Eve Faulkes and Susan Eason, open Friday September 9, 6-8 pm at the Morgantown Public Library. Some participants will share what the experience has been like.

Read the story at BBG

National Leaders of Color Fellowship Seeking Candidates

The six US Regional Arts Organizations (RAOs) are currently seeking fellows for an all-expenses-paid, 8-month fellowship to be held online from October 2022–May 2023. This fellowship is designed as a robust strategic leadership development program for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) leaders in our region who are committed to the advancement of cultural equity in the arts. Using a cohort structure, the program, administered by Western States Arts Federation, emphasizes experiential learning, community building and service to the field.

The deadline to apply for the program is coming up on August 31.

All program details and the link to the application can be found here 

BBG Swag Bag

Publisher’s Note

Burnout is real. 

I started BBG as a WVU School of Journalism NewStart graduate student during a global pandemic and amid white America’s moment of awakening to police brutality.

My grad school fellowship afforded me time and resources to begin and it has been a full-court press since — fundraising, planning, publishing, and more.

Being a solo-news entrepreneur in West Virginia is not for the faint of heart. 

There’s financial insecurity, sure, but there’s a weariness of hope as I look around at the media landscape, the impossible odds, and the skills I need to develop at warp speed.

BBG has created real assets— I’m so proud of that.

Every day I lean further into my West Virginia work ethic. But, hard work alone doesn’t always make for a successful living or news product.

No matter how hard I work — I can’t change West Virginia’s dismal economy, the media’s systemic racism, or my ability to manage personalities and a growing volunteer community gracefully.

Work days bleed into nights and weekends.

It’s hard to quit when you’re the “boss.”

I fear if I don’t take a break to create a better way to work, and develop leadership and technical skills, BBG won’t have a chance to make it another year.

Taking a break seems the best way to move forward.

I am deciding to step back — quiet quitting, they call it.  

In my mind this looks like not worrying so much about social media, and taking a break publicly and personally.

It looks like making a long-term plan with an advisory board, and creating a better workflow so we’re not hustling from print to print.

I will continue the BBG newsletter and post new and original articles on the website.  

My door is always open for your comments, replies, and ideas — I just might be a little slow on the response.

This breather will allow me to prepare for and enjoy my upcoming whirlwind tour to spread the BBG gospel at several conferences, including Atlanta Documenters, East Tennessee State University, Online News Association, American Folklore Society and the Radically Rural Summit.

I hope my evangelical news spirit will bring much-needed resources and support for BBG and the Folk Reporters program that I believe can build a corps of citizen journalists. 

And, I’ll be gearing up to cover the upcoming election. 

An election issue of BBG is important. Many readers are undereducated about the talents of  Black candidates and issues that will be on the ballot — including amending the state’s Constitution to give control of the West Virginia School Board to the Legislature (a terrible idea we’ll discuss soon.)

I want readers to have clear pros and cons to this and other political talking points.

Your donations are always crucial to our future, but your support, patience, and encouragement is needed now more than ever. 


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

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