As a teenager, I made an offer to purchase the Mountain State’s one Black-owned newspaper, the Beacon Digest. I was passionate about journalism and understood the importance of representing the perspectives of Black West Virginians in the media – stories that are still underreported by outlets in the state today.
The owners declined my offer and the paper closed in 2008. Though in the years since, I have dedicated my time, energy, and passion to storytelling through poetry and performance art.
I took a job covering state politics for the West Virginia Press Association. As if by fate, West Virginia University launched a program aimed at reinvigorating community newspapers. I applied and received a full scholarship. And BLACK BY GOD | The West Virginian was born.
I feel more compelled than ever to harness art and journalism to bring the stories and perspectives of Black West Virginians to the forefront.
This is important not just for a historical record, but as West Virginia becomes a region full of disinformation, struggling with economic insecurity.
BBG provides a valuable connection as a Black-led news and story-telling organization. We strive to address the information gap and provide news most relevant to Black people in West Virginia, where existing news outlets lack Black leadership and representation. This work is intersectional and as we report on the reality of Black lives in our area, we’re creating a living record of our collective American story.
Building a newsroom from the ground up takes a lot of work. Our journalism is free to access, and we’re able to do this because folks like you have given what you can to support our mission.
Thank you for your generosity in the past. We are truly grateful for our community members who step up to support us. Today, I’m writing to ask you to consider making a one-time gift and to stand with us again.