by Namibia El
Camden, New Jersey--March 13, 2020, Children in the inner city face exceptional challenges. Oftentimes criminal activity is more visible than examples of hope. Sounds of gunshots, sirens, and violence are a common reality. The harsh elements of poverty such as hunger, lack of adequate housing, and lack of resources to cover the basic needs pose a threat before a child sets foot inside the school. Many parents work multiple jobs or long hours just to make ends meet. This translates to extended time away from home, leaving young people to fend for themselves. Without some interventions, many young people in urban environments become victims to the statistics stacked against them.
A kind gesture, a caring teacher, and a safe space goes a long way. Fatihah Abdur-Rahman, second year principal of Forest Hill Elementary school in Camden gets it. She sees beyond the here and now and recognizes the potential in the young people she is “called to serve.” Affectionately known as Principal Rahman, she holds a high bar of expectations, and yet believes in delivering a high level of support for teachers and students. Principal Rahman works tirelessly to provide an academic environment where her students can thrive despite the challenges they may face at home or in the community.
To read more Namibia El view SCOOP USA Media, March 13, 2020
by Namibia El
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy hosted a prestigious Black History Month gala at the Drumthwacket Mansion, the official residence of the governor of New Jersey. This year Governor Murphy honored Camden’s own Robert and Wanda Dickerson.
Mr. Dickerson with the support of his wife Wanda founded the Unity Community Center of South Jersey, Inc. (UCC) in 1983. This small non-profit organization is not only the home of a World Champion Karate school, military-style drill team, a nationally recognized gospel praise dance ensemble, and music program, but it is also the home of an internationally celebrated and respected Universal African Dance and Drum ensemble.
Governor Murphy publicly recognized Mr. and Mrs. Dickerson for their accomplishments, presenting the couple with and official proclamation from the State of New Jersey. The governor stated “The Dickersons ought to be recognized for their great work in Camden.” Governor also mentioned the couple’s daughter-in-law Ronsha Dickerson, who helped organize the community-led Governor Camden City visit this past summer. After the presentation, members of the Universal African Dance and Drum ensembled performed before a standing room only audience the mansion’s music room.
To read more "Honoring Local Legends" view SCOOP USA Media, February 14, 2020, page 16
by Namibia El
Throughout my life, I have learned about the great works Civil Rights Leader, Dr. Martin Luther King. Textbooks and documentaries told the story of Dr. King’s challenges and triumphs in the South, and how he traveled across the country sharing his message of equality and justice. However, it was not until recently that I learned that his story had a local stop in my hometown of Camden, New Jersey.
Martin Luther King rented a room in the home of Benjamin Hunt, NAACP member while studying just across the Delaware River at the Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, PA. Long before the Montgomery Bus Boycottt that Civil Rights Movement Martin Luther King, Jr., and shortly after he graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta, King was a student at Crozer from 1949 until his graduation in 1951.
While residing in Camden, King and another student visited a tavern in Maple Shade, NJ, in the outskirts of the city. Benjamin Hunt, and Ulysses Wiggins, the president of the Camden County branch of the N.A.A.C.P., helped King and another student file a police complaint. The complaint was against Ernest Nichols, a white tavern owner in Maple Shade, N.J., and said that Nichols had refused to serve the black students and their dates in June 1950, and had threatened them by firing a gun in the air. The tavern has since been demolished in 2011 leaving the Camden property as the only documented historic site marking Dr. Kings early presence in South Jersey.
In the past few years, Mrs. Hunt had been helping activists who are trying to have the property placed on the National Register of Historic Places. While the house has been designated as a historic site by the City of Camden, the State of New Jersey must review the application before it can move to the federal level. Mrs. Hunt, whose husband, Jesthroe, died in 2005, has been paying between $500 and $1,000 a year in property taxes to hang on to the dilapidated two-story home, which she said she has always dreamed would be restored in honor of Dr. King, who was killed in 1968.
In September 2016, Civil Rights icon, US Congressman John Lewis visited the historic landmark while in New Jersey for important discussions on gun violence. Representative Lewis, who worked side-by-side Dr. King during the civil rights movement in the 1960s and played a critical role in the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965; and marched alongside Dr. King in Washington on Aug. 28, 1963, the day Dr. King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech.
US Congress Donald Norcross (NJ) has appealed to the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office to have the Walnut Street home designated as an historic site. Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, a nonprofit that develops properties around the city, added the Walnut Street home to its roster of restoration projects. The organization is making an effort to raise money to restore the home and was discussing how best to proceed.
With funding still stagnant, the property remains vacant today. Hopefully in the near future Camden property will be a historic destination that teaches and celebrates the legacy and lessons of Dr. King.
by Namibia El
Camden, NJ--The Unity Community Center held its premier event of the year, Children, the Future Awards fundraising banquet this past Sunday, November 10, 2019. The organization is celebrating 36 years of non-stop community service to communities of Camden, New Jersey, South Jersey and the Philadelphia region. This family event highlights the successful urban performing arts programs developed by the center’s founders and directors, husband and wife duo, Robert and Wanda Dickerson. The Dickerson’s have managed to produce nationally and internationally recognized program from a tiny storefront since 1983. The annual banquet is the Center’s recital and highlight excerpts of their award-winning performing arts programs. These programs include: the renowned Universal Pasha Karate School, the sensational Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble, the World Champion UPK Pasha Generals Drill Team, the marvelous UCC Praise Dance Ministry, and UCC Royal Brass Band and Music Ensemble.
To read more "Community Service" view SCOOP USA Media, November 15, 2019, page 9
Camden, NJ--Tuesday night, November 13, 2019, the Camden City Council Meeting had standing room only spilling out into the hallway. Residents were in an uproar over a Resolution for the Camden County Metro Police supervising code enforcement. Resolution #69 under the Department of Administration, authorizes an amendment to the shared services agreement between the County of Camden and the City of Camden for the provision of property code. The function of city code enforcement is to administer the enforcement of all city codes to establish a minimum standard of Health, welfare, and well-being for all residents. It is responsible for coordinating and supervising the interaction of all divisions/bureaus.
The concern of many residents is a fear that Metro Police will use the new responsibility to abuse power, with excessive fines that will force them out of their homes. Council President Curtis Jenkins assured residents that the County Metro Police will not come into their homes. Residents came to the microphone in droves to voice their concerns against the resolution. One resident said that it was well-known that Metro (police) are understaffed. How are they going to take on another responsibility. There were also concerns voiced over the vital training and experience needed for code enforcement, and Metro’s lack of experience.
To read more "Code Enforcement" view SCOOP USA Media, November 15, 2019, page 9
Camden, NJ--In recognition of National Hispanic History Month (September 15 to October 15), Camden’s African American Commission and Philadelphia’s Black Radical Congress commemorated the African slave revolts and liberation movement in Puerto Rico. The group held a special tribute on September 23, 2019 at Camden’s Wiggins Waterfront park in remembrance of the Afro-Puerto Rican ancestors who fought along with non-black Puerto Rican abolitionists to win their struggle for freedom from Spain.
In the early 1500s, Spanish authorities began holding West Africans in captivity, transporting them to Puerto Rico for forced labor as part of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Over the years, there were numerous slave revolts on the island dating back to the beginning of African enslavement. The first major pro-independence movement (slave revolt) against Spanish rule in Puerto Rico was September 23, 1868, known as “El Grito de Lares” or “The Cry of Lares”. This rebellion was orchestrated by Dr. Ramon Emeterio and Segundo Ruiz Belvis. Although the Cry of Lares was unsuccessful, it marked a pivotal time in Puerto Rican history. El Grito de Lares was a significant step toward the abolishment of slavery in Puerto Rico, 1873.
Read More, Scoop USA Media, October 4, 2019, page 4
by Kirk Jones
The Tri-County Owls are the defending champions of the North East Atlantic Football League (NEAFL). The team president and general manager is Rodney ‘Rock’Wise. Rock is present at all the games, which are played at the PYAA field in Pennsauken, New Jersey.
The head coach is Lester Cream. The team is currently 7 wins and one loss in the fall league, which the playoff season will begin soon.
Following is a roster of players, many of whom were outstanding high school, college and pro players. You will always meet Rock when you enter the game serving great food and a friendly smile. Come out and support the Tri-County Owls: Head Coach – Lester Cream; Quarterbacks – Cameron Beauty and JT Taylor;
Running Backs – Ey Burgess, Donshay Speed, Tamir Blair, C. Country, Mel Eason;
Wide Receivers – Reese Goodwin, Corey Purnell, Leon Foster, Daniel Curtis, John Ebert, Butch Dover, Stanley Bayless; Tackles – Josh Stenger, Kordell Morgan, Tank, Gerrod Harvey, DA Anthony; Defensive End – Charles Clark, Sean Mayers, Ant Townsend; Linebackers – Bradley Davis, Bryant Lewis, Nate Stallworth;
Defensive Backs – Rafee Cheeseboro, Darrel Gleaves, Chris Pollard and Kicker – Austin Scheider
by Namibia El
Camden’s oldest youth football league, the Centerville Simbas recently gathered to recognize its rising stars at their annual awards banquet. This year’s banquet was held at the H.B. Wilson School in the Centerville neighborhood where many of the players attend. Players in each weight division were awarded based upon the Simba’s five guiding pillars: academics, discipline, loyalty, pride, and teamwork. Both parents and youth were excited about the awards and the beginning of a new season. Parents had an opportunity get a jumpstart with early registration. This year the Simbas will have all-new uniforms manufactured by a Black-owned company.
Read More, Scoop USA Media, March 29, 2019
by Amir Khan
Camden, NJ - On the heels of the recent comments from Mayor Frank Moran, council President Curtis Jenkins, and State Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez in which they declared that the Governor is not welcome in Camden. It also comes after last week's "political pep rally" with former governors and other state actors, an event that was not open to the public or Camden residents. It also comes after months of advocacy by Camden residents and educators on behalf of our public schools and public workers, who have been marginalized.
The Governor is more than welcome in Camden, and in fact we invite him here. 89% of Camden residents voted for Governor Murphy in 2017, and he's been a strong supporter of the City since his election. We look forward to working with him to make Camden even stronger.
It is also important to note that residents do not see the recent exercise in governmental accountability via the Tax Credit Task Forces as an "attack" on Camden, but rather a welcome process to root out possible corruption that has preyed on our city and exploited its impoverished residents.
Read More, Scoop USA Media, May 24, 2019
by Namibia El
Camden residents and community leaders welcomed a visit from New Jersey governor, Phil Murphy to the city on the fourth of July. Last May, Camden elected officials made a public announcement stating that the Governor was not welcome in the city until he stopped attacking it.
This statement was prompted after the governor assembled a task force to investigate apparent abuse of corporate tax breaks granted by the state’s Economic Development Authority. The Mayor and other local elected officials were outraged over the task force claiming that the Governor was unfairly attacking and targeting the city. However, State Spokesman Darryl Isherwood said the investigation into the tax incentives is the result of a report written by the state comptroller appointed by former Gov. Chris Christie.
Shortly after Camden officials berated the Governor, Camden residents took a stance, stating that the Mayor and other officials did not speak for them, and that the Governor was indeed welcome to visit the city. Last month, Ronsha Dickerson, Director of Education and Events for the Unity Community Center, a prominent community non-profit in the city, and fellow members of the Camden We Choose coalition organized an “equity” tour for Kevin Quinn, Murphy’s new pick to chair the state’s Economic Development Authority, which oversees the tax-credit programs.
Read more Camden news Scoop USA Media. July 5, 2019
The Woodrow Wilson High School Tigers football team of Camden, New Jersey won the NJSIAA South Jersey Group 3 championship on November 17, 2018 over the Burlington Township Falcons. They won by a score of 22 -14 on the Falcons field on a crisp, cool fall afternoon in front of more than three thousand fans.
This is the Tigers first Group 3 title since 2001, when in that season, the team went undefeated. At that time current Wilson head coach Preston Brown and his brother, assistant coach Melik Brown were both players on that team, which was coached by Mike McBride.
The Tigers will continue their season with two more games. First up will be the cross-town rival Camden High Panthers for the annual “Turkey Game” on Thanksgiving Day, November 22. That game will be played at Camden High’s Lewis Katz Field in the Parkside, Farnham Park section of the city. The winner of that game will receive the Camden County Sheriff Gilbert “Whip” Wilson City Championship Trophy.
Congratulations Wilson... For more information please read this weeks Scoop, November 23, 2018
Camden High School football Panthers and the Woodrow Wilson High School football Tigers both advance the NJSIAA state finals to be held the weekend of November 16. Both New Jersey schools advance to the South Jersey Group 2 for Camden and Group 3 for Wilson, championship. On November 9, 2018 the Wilson Tigers defeated Delsea by a score of 42-14 behind the total team effort led by quarterback Nick Kargman, Stanley King, Fadil Diggs and head coach Preston Brown and his assistant coaches. Earlier in the season, Wilson lost to Delsea and last year in the state final Group three game, Wilson lost to Delsea by one point 29-28. The victory propels the Tigers to this to year’s championship game against undefeated Burlington Township, who will enter the game with a record of 10-0. Burlington defeated perennial power Timber Creek 21-17 on November 10, 2018 to advance and play Wilson for the South Jersey Group 3 title on the Burlington field, November 16. The game will feature a determined Tiger team against the undefeated Burlington Twp.
For more information, to read Camden related articles and advertisements, Check out This Week's Edition. Scoop USA Newspaper, November 16, 2018
Congratulations to Joy Silver (middle) who was inducted as a member of the 2018 Camden County (NJ) Sports Hall of Fame last nite at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Joy was a member of the Back-2-Back Woodrow Wilson HS girls basketball state championship teams (1996-97) coached by Tony Coleman (pictured on her left; and, pictured on the right is Kirk Jones). Joy then was a star basketball player at Rutgers Camden University where she scored 1500 points and garnered 1000 rebounds. Congrats Joy! Camden High School football Panthers and the Woodrow Wilson High School football Tigers both advance the NJSIAA state finals to be held the weekend of November 16. Both New Jersey schools advance to the South Jersey Group 2 for Camden and Group 3 for Wilson, championship. On November 9, 2018 the Wilson Tigers defeated Delsea by a score of 42-14 behind the total team effort led by quarterback Nick Kargman, Stanley King, Fadil Diggs and head coach Preston Brown and his assistant coaches. Earlier in the season, Wilson lost to Delsea and last year in the state final Group three game, Wilson lost to Delsea by one point 29-28. The victory propels the Tigers to this to year’s championship game against undefeated Burlington Township, who will enter the game with a record of 10-0. Burlington defeated perennial power Timber Creek 21-17 on November 10, 2018 to advance and play Wilson for the South Jersey Group 3 title on the Burlington field, November 16. The game will feature a determined Tiger team against the undefeated Burlington Twp.