"In the grand struggle for liberty and equality now waging, it is (Unintell.), right, and essential that there should arrive in our ranks authors and editors as well as orators, for it is in these capacities that the most permanent good can be rendered to our cause." Frederick Douglas, December 3rd, 1847.

WELCOME TO BLACK BY GOD ~ THE WEST VIRGINIAN, an emerging storytelling organization dedicated to providing Black people in West Virginia with relevant news.

Newsrooms and media outlets across the United States have always suffered from a lack of diversity. In 2020, as we find ourselves at yet another boiling point in the struggle for racial justice and equality, we, Black By God, feel more compelled than ever to harness art and journalism to finally bring the stories and perspectives of Black West Virginians to the forefront. 

Black by God: The West Virginian is here to be a voice for Black West Virginians.

We are a Black publication centered on Black stories and Black art in all the ways they manifest in West Virginia and Appalachia. Many Black West Virginians understand the acute sting of being overlooked or written off. Because while Appalachian stories, in general, are rarely given the justice or attention they deserve, Black Appalachian stories are virtually non-existent in the global lexicon.

Our goal is to provide coverage grounded in the realities of Black life, from people in different financial situations and professions to people with a variety of ethnic influences, for people of all ages and experiences, with a variety of political ideologies.

Part of our mission at BBG is to build a different kind of journalism; a media platform where Black people are part of the reporting process. We believe democracy begins with information, and our coverage seeks to help the people who live here participate in all the processes. We do our best to cover the entire state of West Virginia, focusing on the cities with the highest percentages of Black West Virginians.

We do this through our Folk Reporters program. 

Inspired by City Bureau and Documenters.org, Black by God will implement a pilot citizen journalist Folk Reporters program to cover the 2021 Legislative Session in West Virginia.

If you would like to participate in Black By God X City Bureau/Docuemters – a nonprofit civic journalism lab dedicated to ongoing racial justice work – citizen journalist training session, please email: crystal@blackbygod.org

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Photo: Alice Allison Dunnigan, the first Black journalist to receive White House credentials, and the first Black female member of the Senate and House of Representatives press galleries.