#PassTheDamnBill, Joe!

Kayaktivists urge Manchin to vote yes on $3.5 trillion.

Black By God is proud to support the many different organizations demonstrating outside Senator Joe Manchin’s houseboat in D.C. this week. #movementjournalism

Progress wouldn’t be possible without this community and the bold strength of its leaders on the ground and in the sea.

Did you see our action on Rachel Maddow?

Our allies at Young West Virginia, Race Matters WV, The Center for Popular Democracy Action, Court Appointed Special Advocates and Greenpeace USA floated along for four days before Manchin joined the discourse.

The People’s Watch posted, “Joe Manchin said it himself: it’s great boating season… Manchin decided to hear what we had to say. He has agreed to meet with his West Virginian constituents to hear why they need him to #holdtheline and pass budget reconciliation. West Virginians, and all Americans, need access to care, jobs, a livable planet, and so much more. Do the right thing, Joe.”


Biden’s Build Back Better initiative is an ambitious plan to tackle the climate crisis, create jobs, cut taxes, and lower costs for working families – all paid for by making the tax code fairer and making the wealthiest and large corporations pay their fair share.

This week, in his home state of West Virginia, Charleston Gazette-Mail reporter Joe Severino dove into public opinion over Manchin’s vote.

“A poll of 600 registered voters found 48 percent support Biden’s reconciliation plan. After polled voters were given the option of raising taxes on the richest Americans and corporations, while closing the loopholes that have caused significant wealth disparities, support for the plan rose as high as 70 percent,” Severino wrote, referencing a study from Global Strategy Group.

So why is Manchin vehemently opposed to the bill?

“If there is one final lesson that will continue to guide me in this difficult debate ahead it is this: America is a great nation, but great nations throughout history have been weakened by careless spending and bad policies. Now, more than ever, we must work together to avoid these fatal mistakes so that we may fulfill our greatest responsibility as elected leaders and pass on a better America to the next generation,” he wrote in a statement Wednesday.

BBG EXCLUSIVE: A Flotilla for Floundering Manchin

By Maura Flynn | September 28, 2021

Senator Joe Manchin is delaying a $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill, advising no action until 2022. But his fellow Mountaineers - with Black women leading - aren’t letting him off the hook so easily.

“We’re here to tell Joe Manchin that he will absolutely be sharing the sea. Rough waters are now inevitably welcomed by constituents, who are disappointed in the senator’s lack of political imagination beyond Republican appeasement and indifference to change,” Flynn wrote.

You can learn more about the effort in the BBG exclusive story linked below.

A Flotilla for Floundering Manchin
West Virginia’s centric Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is trying to delay a $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill, advising no action until 2022. But his fellow Mountaineers - with Black women leading - aren’t letting him off the hook so easily. Stay tuned! Our BBG reporter…
Read more

Black Women In America Have Envisioned And Acted For Better, Fairer American Politics


Black By God is proud to share the talent and creative eye of Charleston-based photographer, playwright, journalist, and entrepreneur Leeshia Lee. 📸 You can follow her on your favorite social media platform at @leeshialee and @a_shot_of_lee.

Congratulations to BBG’s founder on releasing her new project, “Marking My Territory: Politicians I’ve Met and Where I Peed.”

“The truth, as they say, is stranger and funnier than fiction. I hope this project gives people a little laugh and encouragement to use their political voices as often as they use the bathroom!” ~ Crystal Good

You can listen to an excerpt from author Crystal Good and buy the digital copy here: https://www.crystalgood.net/markingmyterritory. (& kudos to the team at Base Camp Printing Company for incredible visuals along with designer Brenna Dugan.)


Our founder, Crystal, traveled to D.C. to join the #Flotilla4Manchin. She has been spreading good cheer to demonstrators, staying true to her passionate political peeing preferences and washing her hands well.



The New Media Advocacy Project is looking for six BIPOC and LGBT+ visual storytellers living in Central Appalachia for a year-long paid mentorship program, called Appalachia Reframed. Storytellers interested in making innovative work that lifts up a positive narrative for the future of Appalachia are encouraged to apply.

Chosen participants will receive creator’s grants and ongoing mentorship. NMAP is also looking for two professional mentors— BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA storytellers with experience in any visual medium. Mentors must currently live or have been raised in Central Appalachia. Help change the conversation about what the future can hold for your community. Learn more and apply here.

JOIN BLACK BY GOD - APPLY HERE! We are looking for someone who loves to write and wants a taste of what it is like to be a part of a news team. Upon completion, you’ll receive course credit as a student content intern.

Our goal with this position is to provide information grounded in the realities of Black life through a different kind of journalism; a media platform where Black citizens are part of the reporting process as storytellers and amplifying personal experiences. We believe democracy begins with information.

As an Intern Content Writer, you will support Black by God’s newsletter / website by working together with our founder to broaden a steady stream of online content for our quarterly newspaper print while you’ll research, write and proofread copy for various platforms including newsletters, articles, social media, marketing materials and upcoming special projects.

Questions? Email blackbygodwv@gmail.com!

If you would like to contribute to our publication with commentary, multimedia content or project collaborations, reach out to BBG anytime via email or social media.

News To Know (& Some You Wish You Didn’t)

NAACP calls for the resignation of Westover City Attorney

After calling Danielle Walker — the only Black woman elected to the WV House of Delegates — a b*tch, Tim Stranko is facing calls to leave his position by Morgantown/Kingwood branch of the NAACP.

Poll shows WV voters support using tax hikes on rich, corporations, to help pay for Biden plan

By Joe Severino | September 29, 2021 via the Charleston Gazette-Mail

A poll of 600 registered West Virginia voters found 48% support Biden’s reconciliation plan. After polled voters were given the option of raising taxes on the richest Americans and corporations, while closing the loopholes that have caused significant wealth disparities, support for the plan rose as high as 70%.

The poll was released Tuesday and was commissioned by Americans for Tax Fairness, a national nonprofit group composed of hundreds of American unions, think tanks, advocacy groups and small businesses. Phone calls to voters were made between Aug. 9 and Aug. 15, with respondents being 37% Democrat, 36% Republican and 27% Independent or other affiliation, according to the poll. Thirty percent of respondents described themselves as “very conservative,” while 6% said they were “very liberal.”

The most popular provision among respondents — 70% — was closing the loophole that allows the wealthy to avoid paying taxes on investment gains. A one-time tax on billionaires on their uninvested profits received 65% support, and a wealth tax on Americans who earn more than $50 million in one year received 64% support, according to poll results.

Fryson should be considered for WVSU top post

By Loren Rousseau | September 29, 2021 via the Charleston Gazette-Mail

I pose a question and a viable solution to the dilemma in which WVSU and her Board of Governors are mired. Is there no one in West Virginia capable of leading State back into the prosperous, progressively diverse status she so richly deserves and enjoyed until 2016?

Yes, there are several, but none with the credentials and pedigree that comes with David Fryson.

Fryson was born in Institute, graduated from WVSU, and then went to law school. He’s an ordained minister, retired from West Virginia University as dean of diversity and is interim vice president and chief diversity officer at Brandeis University.

These are facts: Enrollment is down; funding is low; morale is horrible, and more than a few members of the faculty and staff have retired or resigned because the constant upheaval WVSU’s board has brought upon the school.

I’ve been a champion for my friend, David Fryson, for almost 10 years. I firmly believe that he is the one person who can lead my beloved State from the miasma that poor choices by the board and actors behind the scenes have led her to.


Hi! I’m two places at three times, maybe four places at eight times this week. 😳

Somewhere between the DC actions and moving across Appalachia with Kamau Bell as part of his “Appalachian Docent” project for an upcoming episode of United Shades of America.

Stay tuned for Black By God’s behind-the-scenes content from the Emmy Award-winning show.

I am grateful for Maura Flynn and Leeshia Lee. Without them, this newsletter, our BBG posts and creative content - could not happen. Please donate to keep BBG’s newsletter and tweets going.

Keep Good,
~ Crystal | (304) 207-0352‬