THE EYES AND EARS
Founder and publisher, Black By God
As a teenager, Crystal Good wanted to buy her local newspaper. Her father went in on her behalf and presented the publisher with the proposition, but it wasn’t one they were interested in. Still, that determined spirit has followed her into adulthood and bolsters her current position as founder of Black By God, a West Virginia–based, community-led news organization that aims to provide a deeper look at the Black experience in Appalachia. Her dad worked his way up from a janitor at a local news station to eventually become a news director—so news, she says, is in her blood.
Good is a storyteller at heart and has a background in poetry and other art forms. She was inspired during the 2014 Elk River water crisis in southern West Virginia to take a closer look at community reporting: going to the capitol, teaching herself along the way, and curating a voice on social media. “If I was learning something, I could help other people learn something. And if I didn’t know something, nine times out of 10, other people probably didn’t know it,” she says. “I just had the courage and the curiosity to ask, and that’s very much at the heart of the way that I approach Black By God.” She hopes Black By God, which was founded in 2020, can keep folks informed, allow them to be more aware of what’s happening in their communities, and even empower them to be reporters themselves. The publication is largely supported by its “folk reporters”—citizen journalists who receive training from Black By God to cover public meetings.
Today, Good is working to continue expanding the folk reporter program and secure more funding for Black By God so it can become a more sustainable publication. “I haven’t even scratched the surface of the stories that I want to tell,” she says.
Learn more about our Wonder Women
Since 2014 WV Living magazine has been honoring West Virginia Wonder Women, amazing women who are raising the bar in their communities, serving as beacons of light in their industries, and forcing change for the greater good. WV Living is proud to celebrate these Appalachian mothers, millennials, and mavens proving that in a time full of uncertainty, divisiveness, and hate, love for one another is all we really need. No need for bulletproof bracelets or a golden lasso of truth—these women are creating a better West Virginia with their can-do attitudes and Mountain State spirit.