Black History Celebrated by West Virginia Singer


Courtesy of University Communications

Lady D’s performance is being held as a part of Marshall’s Artists Series.

Victoria Ware, Opinion and Culture Editor

West Virginia songwriter Lady D is looking forward to an event at the Keith Albee Performing Arts Center where she can observe and celebrate the history of Black music.

Doris Fields, professionally known as Lady D, has been dubbed West Virginia’s First Lady of Soul. She is a singer and songwriter who founded West Virginia’s Simply Jazz and Blues Festival. 

Preceding the concert portion of the event, the first episode of Lady D’s documentary series, “Those Who Came Before,” will be screened. The series features several influential Black figures in West Virginia. Artists such as poet Crystal Good and singers Aristotle Jones and Rodney Boyden appear in the series. 

“The point of the series is really to honor and celebrate West Virginia’s Black musical heritage, history and future,” Lady D said. “So, it’s all about talking to people now about who has influenced them in the past.”

Lady D said she was surprised when she was contacted to perform at the Keith Albee Performing Arts Center. She is looking forward to having the opportunity to perform on the stage because she had often seen the advertisements for the Marshall Artists Series programs, but she wasn’t ever able to attend a show. 

The event is in honor of Black History Month. Lady D said that Black history is American history, and the contributions that Black people have made should be observed and celebrated.

“We are the history of the country,” Lady D said. “There’s really nothing that you can talk about in this country—in this history—without including Black people. We built the country. We have helped to keep the country running. We have contributed in all areas of life in the country. So, Black History Month is really 365 days a year to me. It’s not something that’s just set aside.”