Crystal Good is an Affrilachian artist, digital media entrepreneur, and social advocate. She is a member of the Affrilachian Poets, a group of writers and artists whose creations and existence combat the erasure of African American identity in the Appalachian region, an Irene McKinney Scholar, and author of Valley Girl. She is the founder and CEO of Mixxed Media, a marketing and consulting firm that teaches media and engagement strategies to mission-driven organizations, and she is a member of the band Heroes Are Gang Leaders. She also works as an advocate for environment, education, and economic actions like industrial hemp, and she is creating a digital commons for voters to express their concerns through her self-made position of Social Media Senator for West Virginia. Crystal Good has spoken and read her poetry in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, at the West Virginia section of the Women’s March on Washington, for the 2013 TEDx conference in Lewisburg, West Virginia, for the LouderARTS Project, for the Appalachian Mountain Advocates, and for students and scholars at several universities and colleges.
On February 16, 2018, Crystal Good visited Ohio State for the first time and engaged with our students through student lunches, a performance and talk, and a workshop.
Good’s performance and talk explored how the poet navigates diverse audiences through performance, activism, and digital media. She discussed her self-made role as West Virginia’s social media senator, her work as a lobbyist for industrial hemp, and her use of poetry to speak across audiences. Good also read and performed various poems throughout the talk. You can find her poems published in her book Valley Girl, the new collection of Black Bone: 25 Years of the Affrilachian Poets, and in The Book of Now: Poetry for the Rising Tide. Good’s poetry can also be found in various journal publications like Pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture and Appalachian Heritage. She is currently working on her second book of poetry.
At the workshop, Good assisted participants in connecting their own work with others’ while also exploring how to network, build ideas, and create digital and/or physical results that reach a range of audiences. The workshop collaboratively explored questions like, “How do we make our work meaningful to diverse audiences beyond the university?” and “How can we use artistic representations and communications to engage communities in complex ways?” The poet and advocate walked students through the process of making their work more accessible, artistic, engaged, critical, meaningful, and impactful.
Below are videos from Good’s performance and talk.
Crystal Good introduces her work, talks about the history of rednecks, and plays a video of her poem "BOOM BOOM."
Crystal Good reads "Boom Boom Fracker Cracker."
Crystal Good discusses becoming the Social Media Senator for the Digital District of West Virginia.
Crystal Good reads "HE Said/SHE Said."
Crystal Good reads "How to Depose: January 12, 2012."
Crystal Good reads "My Old Man."
Crystal Good reads "A Thousand Year Flood Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words."
The event was co-sponsored by the Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies; Environmental Humanities; the Department of African American and African Studies, the Diversity and Identity Studies Collective (DISCO); the Appalachian Studies Network@OSU; Department of Dance, and the English Graduate Organization (EGO).