2014 March 11

West Virginia Officials Back Off From Attempt to Censor Poem on Mine Disaster


West Virginia officials on this day hastily backed away from an attempt to censor the reading of a poem that dealt with a recent coal mine disaster. Officials at the state Division of Culture and History objected when they discovered that Grace Pritt would read the poem, Black Diamonds, by Crystal Good, a tribute to the widows of the 29 miners who died in the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine disaster.

Initially, Pritt was asked to select another poem to read at the Governor’s Arts Awards Ceremony. Good’s poem referred to the mine disaster as “industrial homicide.”

See Grace Pritt read Black Diamonds by Crystal Good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGaucYQuIDc

Learn more at the National Coalition Against Censorship here.

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