Black women have been writing boldly about such issues as racial justice, gender equality, and political reform since the 19th century. Often, we may not know their names. The name most often called, is Ida B. Wells, a pioneering newspaperwoman, and activist. Wells co-owned and wrote for the Memphis Free Speech and Headlight newspapers. Those papers were started in the late 1890s. The Women’s Era was the first national newspaper published by and for African-American women in 1894. It was founded by Boston journalist Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin.
Since then, untold thousands of African-American, women journalists have come and gone, having reported the news in print. However, not many owned newspapers.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, March 30, 2021 page 2
This week as we wind down on Women’s History Month, we are shining the spotlight on Alice Wright, the Founder of the United Block Captains Association Hospital. This year marks the 21st year of this organization being in existence. Alice Wright stated, “When I was nine years old, I used to go around and tell all my neighbors to please clean up in front of their houses. Back then, I didn’t understand what I was doing and how important it was. I just knew my mother always had me out there, sweeping up and scrubbing our front steps down and I figured, in my little girl's head, that everyone should be doing the same thing. When I became a grown woman, I decided to start a block captain's organization. I created a flyer and started circulating it, and organizing people to get involved.”
Wright continued, “The very first meeting we had, it was like a church meeting, there were so many people who showed up. That gave me the encouragement I needed to continue this. I could tell from the response at that first meeting that people wanted this group and felt like it was needed. Although I’m from West Philadelphia, this is not just a West Philadelphia organization. This is a citywide organization. We go around and help anybody that calls us for help. We will go check out their block, walk down their block with them, and see what the needs of the block are. We always encourage block captains and newly formed block clubs to hold meetings and the importance of neighbors communicating. I always tell people if you’re tired of trash and litter, you have to organize your block and address those concerns. Don’t just talk about it. Be about it. Get to work.”
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, March 23, 2021 page 2
For years I convinced myself, “The Royals of Great Brittan don’t mean a thing to me.” They don’t have anything to do with my people and they really seem rather snobbish to me. They’re living in an alternate universe. The world is no longer made up of royalty, kings, and queens. Then along came Lady Diana. There was just something special about Prince Charles and Prince Harry’s mother. I think she was very special, and I know I don’t stand alone in that assessment. It’s a shame that the last years of her life were so haunted and she was so unhappy. But to Lady Di’s credit, it was her that gave me a spark of interest in the Royal Family and it was her that made me respect at least one member of the Royals at that time and it was Lady Diana. She truly gave the world a sense that she cared about the least of these. She cared about the down-trodden. She cared about the sick, the poor, the have-nots and wasn’t afraid to show it.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, March 19, 2021 page 2
A lot of people who become elected officials don’t really have a long list of tangible things they can list what they’ve done to lift up their community before they became an elected official. Not so in the case of Shirley M. Kitchen, most recent past PA State Senator for the 3rd senatorial district. Shirley Kitchen was racking up wins for her community long before she ever even thought of running for a political office.
In today’s SCOOP USA column, as we continue to observe Women’s History Month, we are celebrating the work and legacy of Shirley M. Kitchen, a living legend.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, March 16, 2021 page 2
Just like with a lot of other things, you would think that people would have enough good sense to know by the year 2021 that things such as sexual harassment is illegal and is punishable by law. For the sake of not being all over the place, for this column, I will just focus on women being sexually harassed, although I recognize that men can be victims as well.
Over history, countless women have been in positions where they were sexually harassed by men. To me, sexual harassment is when someone puts their hands on you inappropriately, touching your breast, or butt, or really, any body part, without invitation. Further, sexual harassment can be verbal. Example: When someone says things like, ”You look so good I could slurp you up like an ice-cream cone,” or “I want to lick you up and down until you explode inside.” Sexual harassment can also be in written form, as in if someone leaves very suggestive notes or drawings at your desk, or on your windshield, or in your mailbox, etc., uninvited. That’s my definition of sexual harassment.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, March 12, 2021 page 2
As a female journalist, I treasure the opportunity to celebrate wonderful, awesome women any time of year, but of course, “Women’s History Month” is special. I’m used to getting dressed up, hair done, heels on, and coming out for the annual Madame C. J. Walker Awards Luncheon, hosted by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, PA Chapter, Inc. I’m used to, in past years, back when the late Barbara Daniel Cox headed up the Mayor’s Commission for Women, during the W. Wilson Goode Administration, coming out to special events Cox orchestrated, to celebrate women during Women’s History Month. In normal times, there’s a long list of fabulous events, all centered around putting the spotlight on outstanding women, that take place during the month of March.
These are not normal times we continue to live through. Hello. The pandemic is still not yet over. While we’re seeing, as of press time for this edition of our newspaper, some 18 states that have now dropped their face mask mandates and other safety mandates related to social distancing, the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. All of that said, Women’s History Month this year of 2021, will largely be observed by smart organizations, online, or outside in parks perhaps.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, March 9, 2021 page 2
While the Philadelphia area is saying goodbye to a 40 year radio station that had a strong following in its own right, Gospel Highway Eleven, Rev. Dr. Wayne Weathers says there’s still a lot of choices out here for people who want to break into broadcasting in the 21st Century. Approximately a year and a half ago, Dr. Weathers hosted his first radio program on internet radio. Today, he has three radio programs. It’s all about opportunity, whether you can afford to buy your time, and invest in yourself, or whether you can convince a decision maker at a radio station or internet station to give you a chance.
Reverend Dr. Wayne Weathers, Pastor of Vision of Hope Baptist Church in Jenkintown, PA. is spreading his broadcasters wings. With a little over a year and a half under his belt as a radio talk show host at two broadcast locations in Philadelphia, the preacher/broadcaster is adding a third broadcast outlet to his list. Dr. Weathers says at a time when there’s thousands of choices that people can make, as to what they want to listen to, or whom they want to listen to, he is very pleased to be one of those options.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, March 5, 2021 page 2
W. Cody Anderson, radio icon departed this world on Saturday, February 20, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. after a battle with the Coronavirus. Dedicated to hosting his Saturday radio program on WURD, when he failed to have a live program for the last two Saturdays, faithful listeners knew something was wrong, but they didn’t know what. Cody Anderson co-hosts his radio show, Electric Magazine with Vikki Leach, but for the past fourteen days, both of them were off the air, and rebroadcasts of past shows were played.
As it turns out, the Anderson family wanted Cody to have privacy as he was going through his illness. They also didn’t want five hundred phone calls coming from well-meaning people to their home. Thus, it was kept very quiet that Cody was ill.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, March 2, 2021 page 2
Still scratching your head trying to figure out when your child goes back to public school in Philadelphia. Don’t worry, the story is ever-changing, and I guess it’s nobody's fault. I want to believe that everyone wants to do the right thing and reopen schools for all our children when the time is right. This much I do know, and that is that why all Philadelphia Public school teachers, administrators, and other staff of the school district officially started getting the COVID-19 vaccination Monday, February 22. That’s good news. I’d feel even better I think, if I knew that all children could be vaccinated, with the approval from their parents of course.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, February 26, 2021 page 3
Like most children, I dreamed of being many things when I was growing up. I wanted to be a schoolteacher. I wanted to be a dancer, an actress, a doctor, a police officer, a fireman and yes, I wanted to be a nurse. I had many examples around me, growing up, of African American women who were nurses and I just thought that would be the coolest profession to be in.
At the age of 14, I signed up for the candy striper program at Einstein Medical Center and it was there that I figured out I didn’t have what it took to be a good nurse. The sight of blood makes me dizzy. The sight of needles, or the thought of giving a needle to someone else, makes me want to cry. Then the idea of having to clean someone up who is a grown person, and doesn’t have control of their bowels, nope, not for me.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, February 23, 2021 page 3
Not so fast Mr. Donald Trump and Trump attorneys. The investigations and trials are not over yet. As disappointed as many Americans might be because the U.S. Senate failed for a second time to convict Donald Trump in an Impeachment trial, don’t give up hope yet that he still might get punished for at least some of his crimes.
There were news reports that came in over the weekend that indicated the Trump family, close friends, and allies were partying it up at the former president's retreat in Florida after he was acquitted Saturday, February 13, 2021. I can only imagine that Donald Trump has a feeling of 'You can't touch this,' and 'I'm above the law.' He’s been acting like that since before he took his oath of office in January of 2017.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, February 19, 2021 page 2
Could you imagine being a child and your parents having Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., or Jazz and Blues great Billie Holiday, or the amazing Paul Robeson, at the dinner table? Most of us would never have experiences like that in a million years. But for Vernoca Michael that was the norm.
In my first column for Black History Month, I’m shinning the spotlight on Paul Robeson, through the eyes of Vernoca Michaels who is the Executive Director of the Paul Robeson House and Museum, located 4949-51 Walnut Street in West Philadelphia. As the story goes, Paul Robeson became a member of Vernoca Michaels' family.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, February 15, 2021 page 2
If Dr. William J. Hite, the leader of The School District of Philadelphia, which oversees our public schools, has his way, schools will reopen to grade school children come February 22. In Tuesday’s print edition, I wrote about the Philadelphia Home and School Council and their concerns about possibly opening public schools too soon, what with COVID-19 still in the air and everyone not having the benefit of the COVID vaccine.
When you look at overall plans for who gets the vaccine and when, of course, 'frontline workers' are expected to be first in line for the vaccine. However, there can be a debate about who all should be considered frontline workers. In my head, right off the top, I would suggest that medical staff, (including people who work for nursing homes and personal care homes), EMT’s, Fire and Police department staff, people who work for transportation systems such as airlines, Amtrak, SEPTA, New Jersey Transit, Educators, Funeral Directors, USA Armed forces of all branches and food workers. After all those people are taken care of, I guess the rest of us need to get in line, for those who want the vaccine.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, February 12, 2021 page 2
Dr. William Hite, CEO of Philadelphia Public Schools announced the School Districts’ most recent plans for how and when they think they will reopen schools. Some Philadelphia students will likely head back to in-person learning this month. The start date is February 22, and it will be our youngest children in-person who will be heading back first. Prekindergarten- second-grade students will go back to learning in the classroom with their teacher right in front of them, live and in living color. Staff was scheduled to return to classrooms on February 8th to make sure everything is ready to welcome students back. However, as of press for this article, staff returns have been delayed due to a number of safety concerns.
“As we begin transitioning to in-person learning, we do so with the confidence of knowing that we’ve been preparing since the Spring of 2020,” Dr. Hite stated. “In-person learning can happen safely if we all do our part, remain patient and flexible and plan ahead.”
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, February 9, 2021 page 2
The story I’m writing about today is an ongoing story and all the details have not been made public yet. However this much I do know. A young man who is 22 years old and a graduate student at Drexel University, won a contract from the City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health, to provide COVID-19 testing and then later, COVID-19 vaccines. The organization I’m referring to that suddenly has the spotlight on them, is Philly Fighting COVID. The founder and CEO is Andrei Doroshin.
I don’t have anything against a startup organization that’s formed to do good work in a crisis situation and the pandemic is most definitely a crisis. That’s why I applaud, for example, the Black Doctors Covid-19 Consortium started by Dr. Ala Stanford, However, I would think, if you are offering services that have a medical over-lay, almost everyone involved with your organization should have a medical background. Having some college interns, who are premed or already in medical school is fine. But most definitely everyone administering tests and administering vaccine shots should have medical backgrounds. Period.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, February 5, 2021 page 3
Social Justice. That’s what Dr. Walter Palmer has been about all his life. He’s known as a living legend in civil rights work. On January 1, 2021, he kicked off a new initiative, where he wants the United States government to declare a national public health crisis about racism. His petition drive, albeit in the early stages, has already drawn 1,400 signatures from all over the country and the campaign is only one month old. This is a national grassroots campaign, with supporters not just in the United States, but in parts of Europe and South America as well, according to Dr. Palmer.
The age group being targeted are people age 15 and up. “We have a group of young people organizing high schools all across America, even during the pandemic. Doctors are organizing doctors. Educators are organizing educators. Clergy are organizing clergy and so on. Our former Mayor from Philadelphia, W. Wilson Goode has committed to this effort. He’s sending our petition out to over a thousand people.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, February 2, 2021 page 2
The world is now 12 months into the Coronavirus pandemic, and no one can clearly state when the pandemic will be over. The good news is that there are two COVID vaccines in America that are being used now. However, the vaccination plan has to be rolled out in stages. Everyone who wants the vaccine cannot just call their doctor's office and set up an appointment to get the shot. States and the Federal government are still fine-tuning the overall plan for how the vaccinations will get into arms around the nation.
Keep in mind also, that there are still people who say they do not want to take the vaccine and they don’t trust what the outcome will be if they do take it.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, January 29, 2021 page 3
I woke up on the morning of January 21, 2021 feeling refreshed and revived with new hope and spirit beating in my heart for America. While acknowledging that the Biden-Harris Administration has an overwhelming amount of work to do to turn around a lot of the mess created by the most recent past president, I think they have the know-how, determination, smarts, commitment, and right people on watch to get the job done. America is going to be alright. America will regain the respect it once had around the world. America will no longer be the laughingstock of the world.
We got through all the inaugural festivities without a glitch, without a hitch, and without any crazy Trump supporters or insurrectionists trying to ruin the historic occasion. Witnessing three past presidents at the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier” standing by to support their friend, President Joe Biden, did my heart well, particularly because one of them was a Republican, George Bush. How classy of him to be on hand, like I knew he would be. Bush displayed the dignity that America should have also seen in Donald Trump, but of course, that wasn’t going to happen.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, January 26, 2021 page 2
At least 80 million Americans were waiting for January 20, 2021, to come since Joe Biden was declared the winner of the November 3, 2020, presidential election. America has been in turmoil because we had a president who refused to accept that he lost the election and he refused to concede to Joe Biden up until the last minute. Well, it is over now thank God.
It was a joy to behold to see Donald Trump and Melania wave and hold hands and board Marine One the Presidential helicopter, one last time. Then board Airforce-One, the presidential plane, one last time, that took them to Mara Largo, Florida to what we suspect will be their new home residence.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, January 22, 2021 page 2
People in prison aren’t allowed to vote, yet the census counts them in the areas they’re imprisoned in and not the areas they come from. This “prison gerrymandering” funnels political power away from urban communities to legislators who have prisons in their (often white, rural) districts.
In Pennsylvania, it’s responsible for creating the equivalent of a whole new House of Representatives district in areas around the prisons rather than the areas where people are from. A powerful statewide zoom meeting was held Saturday, January 9, 2021 to educate and inform the public on this issue. The event was sponsored by Fair Districts PA, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Free the Ballot, Keystone Decarceration Bloc, and several other groups. The event was dubbed, “Say No to Judicial Gerrymandering Town Hall on Judicial Districting.”
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, January 19, 2021 page 2
During a pre-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration held on Zoom on Sunday, December 10, 2021, Rev. Marshall Mitchell, a young, fiery preacher who is the pastor of Salem Baptist Church in Rosalyn, PA, reminded everyone who participated that those who hosted King day services, opted for virtual programs.
As the keynote speaker for a King Day event hosted by Black Clergy, Rev. Marshall Mitchell brought a strong message home. He stated,” I’m grateful that we’re pausing to recognize Dr. King’s living contributions to the development of this country and in particular, to the development of Black people, but in particular, Black preachers. Dr. King was both a burden and a blessing to all of us. He was a burden because he did so many things so well that sometimes, we are enticed to sound like him at our own risks. He was such a blessing because he held up a great example of what a pulpit could be and a potential that exists in all our churches and in all of us.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, January 15, 2021 page 3
The rats are leaving the sinking ship called Donald Trump at long last. What an embarrassment. What a shame. What a disgrace. What a national and international nightmare Wednesday, January 6, 2021, turned out to be. This will be another date in American history that I’ll never forget. It was kind of surreal, but for me, not unexpected.
We smart people of the world already knew some Federal level elected officials were going to try and play some dirty tricks in the House of Congress as the official Electoral College votes were tabulated by Congress. We also had already been forewarned by the president himself that he was calling upon all his supporters to converge on the nation's capital and to misbehave. So why did so many people act surprised?
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, January 12, 2021 page 2
Just like everything else since the Coronavirus came to America, the process for applying for college loans and grants will be more of a nail biter this year than ever before, for many students. Why? Because there’s so much uncertainty about so many things these days.
I had the opportunity to interview Grant Colder, Director of College Counsel, at Friends Central School in Philadelphia, which is a Secondary School. He provides counseling for eleventh and twelfth-grade students who are in the process of applying for higher education. “Cost is an issue for a number of his students,” he said. “We help our students figure out how to apply to colleges and make sure that they have options that will cover a range and maximize the likelihood that they’ll have some opportunities that are affordable.”
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, January 8, 2021 page 2
I recognize that Dr. Ala Stanford does not speak for every Black doctor in America, but I like to think she speaks for a lot of them. She’s home-grown talent, originally from North Philadelphia. Dr. Stanford is the brainchild behind the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium, which was created out of the emergency of the pandemic that started in 2020. We’ve published stories in the SCOOP USA Media Community Newspaper about Dr. Stanford and the other doctors and health care workers who are a part of the Black Doctors Consortium a number of times this year. We applaud them for their commitment, for their bravery, and for lifting up our community. Without them, some of us might still be waiting to get our first COVID19 test just to see if we contracted the virus.
Here's what Dr. Ala Stanford had to say on December 16, 2020, the day she got her first COVID vaccine shot during a televised press event: 'I just received the first vaccination for my COVID Vaccine. I feel excited. Walking into the room I was a little nervous, but this process has been very thorough. The questions that were asked in the screening were thorough, and the final step was to give my consent. In the moment I just felt complete relief. So much so that I didn’t even feel the needle. I’m really excited that this is the beginning of our new normal. Not just here in Philadelphia, but around the nation.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, January 5, 2021 page 2
Prior to March 2020, African Americans were dealing with racism. We have a history of trauma that our community is dealing with. Lack of funding for public school education is a problem in our community. Violence in our community is a problem. Police brutality is a problem. Deaths of young Black men and women is a problem. Add COVID on top of that, and then add isolation on top of that. In addition to all of that, we now we find ourselves in the holiday season. For African American people, and others, that’s a family time, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. It’s a time that we typically get together with everybody. Add all those things up and what you get is what my practice and a lot of persons who are my colleagues are getting—a doubling in your practice.”
Colley added, “I’ve been telling my clients since late Spring this thing is not going to go away right away. Now what I’m getting is clients who are grieving all that’s going on and also grieving the loss of loved ones, and not even being able to hold hands or be with them in their last moments. Then we can’t even have funerals the way we’re used to having funerals. Add all of that up and what you get is depression. You get anxiety. You get low frustration levels. You get fatigue.”
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, January 1, 2021 page 3
Jalila Parker, Executive Director of the PA Governor’s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs stays on top of her job and pays attention to state government and the work getting done, even during times of the pandemic. During a final COVID-19 Zoom Update for 2020 hosted by Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity, dubbed “Where We Stand,” Parker outlined some of the work the state has been doing to address the crisis that hit in 2020. “One of the things we learned is that a lot of Black and Brown business owners were shut out of that process of getting emergency funding from the state after the first round of funds came through. The problem is that many small Black and Brown business owners don’t use traditional banking systems or agencies when they have needed loans up until now. They didn’t have the relationships or the respect from the traditional banking systems, so when it was time for those banks to make decisions about whom they would loan money to, during the pandemic, many small Black and Brown owned businesses were passed over.”
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, December 29, 2020 page 2
Boy oh boy, if I had 2020 vision, maybe I would have known what this year had in store for us. Darn sure is a year I will never forget. On a personal note, the year started out nice because my husband and I took a nine-day vacation to Orlando, Florida. Now mind you, before we left, there were already news stories starting to crop up about some new strain of virus out of Wuhan, China, which was announced in December 2019, that in my non-medical mind, sounded a little scary to me. Down in my gut, I didn’t want to travel. I silently thought to myself, umm being up in an airplane with capsulated recycled air, sounds like recycled germs to me. However back in January, even though I had those misgivings, it never occurred to me that perhaps I should wear a face mask. I just focused on not being a party- pooper to my mate. My significant other works very hard and when he takes a vacation, he always looks to get on an airplane and go away from his normal environment. So off we went to Florida.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, December 25, 2020 page 2
How about this: A highly educated, certified, well prepared, and beautiful African American woman will go down in history for leading the effort to solve the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, a research fellow and scientific lead at the National Institute of Health, is on the frontlines working with a team of scientists, studying Moderna's vaccine, one of the two COVID-19 vaccines shown to be effective by more than 90 percent.
'I want to make it clear that this is work that we have been doing for so long I personally stand by it, essentially with all of my being,' said Corbett.
Pew Research shows that only 42 percent of Black people are likely to get vaccinated, compared to 63 percent of Latino people and 61 percent of white people. One of the reasons is decades of abusive medical tactics on Black people dating back to the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment of 600 Black men.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, December 22, 2020 page 2
I started writing this column at the end of the day on Monday, December 14, 2020. I waited all day to write the column, waiting with bated breath as I watched the official Electoral College votes, state by state, as the vote count was announced live on CNN and other media outlets. I kept thinking to myself, what’s taking so long. Why can’t they hurry up and just count already? But as I thought on it, because of all the lies and misinformation that Donald Trump has put out to the universe and certainly to his supporters, I figured taking the count nice and slow would finally once and for all put to rest any thought that Joe Biden did not legitimately win the November 3, 2020 presidential election.
Well, believe it or not, the Trumpster still is unwilling to admit defeat and concede the election to Joe Biden. But guess what? Whether Donald Trump likes it or not, Joe Biden is the President-Elect and Kamala Harris is the Vice President-Elect and they will both make history being sworn into office on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2021.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, December 18, 2020 page 2
This certainly won't be the first time this year that I've written about this amazing group, The Black Doctors Covid-19 Consortium. They were born out of the dire emergency of this thing called the Coronavirus (COVID-19), that hit the world in January of 2020, and hasn't stopped yet. Members of the Black Doctors Covid-19 group are certainly heroes and sheroes in my mind.
Talk about stepping up to the plate and doing what needs to be done. In their own time, in a volunteer capacity, using their own private funds, they put together what needed to be done, (with some donations from some churches), to start offering free COVID tests at certain churches that had large parking lots, and were willing to host them. When it was still very difficult to get a COVID test in Philadelphia, the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium made themselves available to the community in a major way. As of mid-November of this year, they had tested 13,000 people for free. Dr. Ala Stanford is the leader of the group and its main spokesperson.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, December 15, 2020 page 2
Ask not, get not. I believe in that concept and I applaud the NAACP, the National Urban League, and other groups that are raising their voices collectively and solo, to the Joe Biden White House Transition Team. They are saying, we need a regular sitdown with the team until all key people are in place for the next Administration. I'm not mad at them. I get it. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. If you sit by and keep your mouth shut, you may get overlooked.
I applaud President-elect Joe Biden on his choices for people he's considering to be a part of his cabinet and a part of his administration thus far. He still has a long way to go in terms of announcing all his choices and I'll remind our SCOOP Readers again, while the President-elect has made his 'choices.' The cabinet-level position must be confirmed by the United States Senate.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, December 11, 2020 page 3
Starting in March of this year, a union business agent for SEIU, morphed into a Pennsylvania State Representative after a special election, to take the seat of former State Representative Movita Johnson Harrell. Roni Johnson held down the 190th Legislative District of West Philadelphia and a part of North Philadelphia, from the first week of March 2020 until November 30, 2020. Green says she knows that during the time she was in the Pennsylvania State House, she did what God would have her do.
“I’m most proud of the constituency services work that I and my staff were able to get done, even through a pandemic. We feed over two thousand families during a pandemic. On May 31st after the George Floyd killing in Minnesota and we had civil unrest in Philadelphia, in West Philadelphia, I was out in the street for 6 hours straight, side by side with police and with community members, doing our best in the area of 52nd street where we were, to keep peace. I can’t say there was peace all up and down 52nd street for miles and miles, but where I stood, with the people I was with, we kept peace.”
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, December 8, 2020 page 2
So far, so good. President-Elect Joe Biden looks like he’s going to keep his word on having a diverse Cabinet and a diverse Administration. Thus far his choices are rather impressive, so say many. Keep in mind that some of his choices will need to be confirmed before those choices can become a reality.
Janet Yellen is the person he wants to head the Treasury Department. If Biden has his way, she will become the next Secretary of the Treasury. Yellen, who is 74, is a familiar face in financial circles, having been the chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018, as well as the top economic adviser to President Bill Clinton in the late 1990s.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, December 4, 2020 page 3
President-Elect Joe Biden has said that he plans on having a diverse cabinet and Administration once he’s sworn into office in January, and already he's proving his actions will speak even louder than his words. Linda Thomas Greenfield has been named by Joe Biden to be a member of his cabinet as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations if approved by Congress.
Who is she? She is an American diplomat who served as the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in the United States Department of State's Bureau of African Affairs from 2013 to 2017. She is a senior counselor at the Albright Stonebridge Group in Washington, DC.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, December 1, 2020 page 2
This year, as it's been said so many times over the last 9 months or so, has been like no other. With more than 12,339,515 confirmed COVID cases in the United States as of SCOOP press time for this edition of the newspaper, and 256,878 deaths in the U.S. as of November 24, 2020, at 11:20 a.m., there are so many heavy hearts this Thanksgiving Holiday season. There are countless names of people who have lost their lives due to COVID-19 over this year. But also, let us not forget there are also other people who have departed from this earth who died of other causes, some natural. Bottom line, there are families who will have an empty place at the table for sure. That’s hard.
It’s tough when you observe traditional American holidays and you are used to family gatherings two or three times a year, Thanksgiving being one of them. In past years, I’ve interviewed family therapists, psychiatrists, and others about the 'Holiday Blues.' This year, in particular, I think a lot of Americans may be suffering from the 'Thanksgiving Pandemic Blues.' One of the main reasons for that is because so many Americans have lost a loved one or friend, or friend of a friend this year to COVID-19. It seems as if the pandemic is relentless. So many are asking when will it stop?
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, November 27, 2020 page 2
PA State Representative Joanna McClinton and PA State Representative Donna Bullock, both from Philadelphia, both attorneys at law and both dynamic leaders are being recognized for their smarts. Rep. McClinton stated, “In terms of this new post there are seven leadership spots in the House Democratic and Republican Caucus. The Speaker of the House is the top spot. Because we did not win the majority, which we were hoping for, but it did not happen this November, we had to reorganize last Thursday. There was an election and every member gets a vote and sadly our leader of the last twelve years, Frank Dermody was in that group of a few folks who did not win reelection. There were so many people who could do this job and step up and run, but I am so grateful to say that my colleagues gave me the green light when I ran last Thursday, to be Frank's successor. I will be the next Democratic leader, which is the top role for the entire caucus running all the caucus operations, strategy, and legislative priorities.'
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, November 24, 2020 page 2
With the Coronavirus pandemic raging, I know my family isn’t the only one having the “great debate” of whether or not to do Thanksgiving this year. If we listen to medical doctors and scientists, the best thing for Americans to do is to not have large gatherings this Thanksgiving because the number of confirmed people with COVID-19 is still on the rise around the country. The numbers have increased significantly from early summer of 2020. It’s been recommended by experts such as doctor Anthony Fauci, that no more than 10 people should gather in an household for Thanksgiving, and even at that, they should wear masks, still observe social distancing, wash hands often and if you live in a state where it is warm, have your Thanksgiving meal outside.
Other medical experts are suggesting that if a family all live in one household and they’re together every day anyway, Thanksgiving won’t make a difference. But if you invite someone into your home who lives elsewhere and you don’t know all the people they may have been around, then you could potentially be allowing the virus to get into your home.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, November 20, 2020 page 2
After reading last week’s SCOOP column that I wrote about the Presidential election results and the fact that we were still counting votes, I bet some of you SCOOP readers thought for sure, “Thera won’t write about politics this week.” But guess what? The need is still there. It doesn’t sit well with me that I can write about the presidential election, but then leave out local races that deserve to be spotlighted, so here I go.
In Pennsylvania there were quite a few political seats up for grabs. I won’t go through the entire list, but I certainly must let you know who the winners are for races that can impact on the Philadelphia area. Let me start with Democrat Josh Shapiro. He’s just been elected to another four year term as the PA State Attorney General. Some say that one day he may decide to toss his hat in the ring for the governor’s seat. Republican Timothy L. DeFoor won the seat for Auditor General. Stacy L. Garrity won for State Treasurer.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, November 17, 2020 page 2
It looks like there will be two U.S. Senate Races in the state of Georgia that will be decided in January 2021 after run-off elections. The last time a Democrat won a runoff election in Georgia was in 1998. However, this year is like no other. Some political pundits think there can be wins for U.S. Senate hopefuls from Georgia come 2021. One of the candidates is Rev. Raphael Warnock, a very well-known, popular, well-respected Pastor of a megachurch in Georgia, The date for the run-off election is January 5, 2021. Voters can ask for absentee ballots now. Voters will not receive those ballots until after November 18, 2020. If you are not registered but you want to vote in the run-off election in Georgia, the deadline to do so is December 7, 2020. Early voting for the runoff election starts in Georgia on December 14th.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, November 13, 2020 page 3
Now is a time for healing and unification in the months ahead,” stated President-Elect Joe Biden, after it was confirmed Saturday morning that he absolutely without question had enough electoral votes to be declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election. As threatened many months before the November general election, Donald Trump had already put it out in the universe that even if it was said that he didn’t win the election on election day, he was still proclaiming himself the winner and he basically said he wouldn’t go away gracefully. And so it is.
While millions of Americans watched Joe Biden and Kamala Harris take to the stage Saturday, November 7th in Delaware to acknowledge that they are now the President-elect and Vice President-elect, respectively, the Trump campaign had lawyers working on lawsuits and everything else they can try and come up with, to say that the election was stolen from Trump and that there was a lot of fraud going on with the election. For all of the grown folk I have been talking to, since before election day, whether Republican or Democrat, they are all agreeing on one thing; Donald Trump is making himself look like a sore loser, a big baby, and of course, a liar.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, November 10, 2020 page 2
Well here it is, Tuesday November 3rd has come and gone, but to date, we can still not say definitively who won the race for President. What we do know is this: In some parts of the country there may be some people who do some stupid things in postelection excitement or disappointment. Just before my deadline time in which to turn in this column, I watched a press conference featuring the Philadelphia Election Task Force. That task force included Mayor Kenny, PA State Senator Vincent Hughes, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, Philadelphia City Councilmen, Kenyatta Johnson, Rev. Dr. Wayne Weathers, 2nd Vice President of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity and a number of other leaders.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, November 6, 2020 page 3
It’s do or die time voters. For those who did not do a mail-in ballot or early voting, the General Election is today!!! We will be voting for president and vice president, U.S. Congress members, PA State Attorney General, Auditor General and Treasurer, as well as all 203 seats in the PA State House of Representatives is up for grabs. For voters who live in Philadelphia County, there are some questions on the ballot as well.
When asked, many seem to agree that the race between the Presidential candidates this election cycle has been one of the most contentious battles in recent election history. Also, a lot of people seem to agree that the contentiousness has largely been caused by only one candidate, Donald Trump.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, November 3, 2020 page 3
Somebody said to me just as I was preparing to write my SCOOP column, that “Black folk need to stop calling police when there’s a problem on the block or in the neighborhood.” This same person went on to say, ”Every time we call the police, one of our family members ends up getting shot and in some instances, killed by cops.”
I personally will not say that I won’t call police in an emergency, but if there is any way that the problem or issue can be squelched before dialing 911, I say let’s make the effort.
You see, I am still one of those people who believes that there’s more good police officers out here on our streets than there are bad police officers. I know so many police officers and I believe them to be good officers who care about protecting and serving the public. Unfortunately its always the few bad apples in the barrel that draw a lot of attention.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, October 30, 2020 page 2
Here’s some sobering information about COVID-19 and how it has impacted the state of Pennsylvania. 850 chairs were on display Friday, October 23rd on Independence Mall. Each of those chairs represents ten people lost to COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. The chairs were set up all day Friday to make a powerful statement. COVID Survivors for Change is the group that organized the empty chair remembrance. Their goal was and is to honor those who have lost a loved one, as well as to encourage those who have survived the virus.
Organizers are calling upon Donald Trump and Congress to do more to help people impacted by the pandemic. To learn more about COVID Survivors for Change, log onto their web site at www.covidsurvivorsforchange.org.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, October 27, 2020 page 2
As news reports are coming in, that the second feared wave of the Coronavirus is here, small and large businesses around the nation are bracing themselves for what’s next, along with our educational institutions and all sorts of workplaces. It’s been more than 8-weeks since I last gave a sliver of a look at small businesses in Philadelphia and how they’re making it through the pandemic, a forced shut down of all non-essential businesses, for some, add insult to injury and there was looting of some businesses during the height of the civil unrest that took place at the end of May and early June of 2020. That was after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, October 23, 2020 page 3
I want to say, “Say it ain’t so.” Dynamic, wonderful, kind, very proud Afrocentric Black Man, Earl Harvey, publisher of Black Professional News is not dead. I didn’t want to believe it when our Publisher Sherri Darden informed the staff of the SCOOP USA Media Newspaper that Earl Harvey had made transition.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, October 20, 2020 page 2
The reality is that most parents would rather see their children learning and being educated in a more traditional setting such as a classroom than learning from home. Let’s face it, in some households, there’s more than one child, and space may be on the short side. So how do you separate the children so they can hear clearly as they learn online? Believing that the majority of our school-age children who did not have laptops or iPads in the home before the pandemic, have them now, even if they were donated or loaned out, by the School District of Philadelphia. Without a computer and without the internet, parents are forced to send their child out to someone else’s home, or to some safe place where they can get online. That’s the reality.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, October 16, 2020 page 3
The best-laid plans are getting changed, hour to hour, for us in the world of journalism and for all of us as American citizens. I thought I had a plan. I thought what my Publisher asked of me, in terms of being a journalist submitting columns to her newspaper, was on-point with subjects we should cover between now and General Election Day, November 3rd.
Major things keep developing or changing in the world of American news. It all swirls around Donald Trump.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, October 13, 2020 page 2
Some would say Donald Trump coming down with the Coronavirus is like poetic justice, based on the conduct of the forty-fifth president of the United States. Trump has been teasing, berating, bullying and being 100 percent nonsupportive to anyone who stands for people wearing face masks. It doesn’t matter to Trump that face masks can help protect people from getting the disease that’s already killed 210,000 Americans since the pandemic became official in the U.S. in late February, early March of this year.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, October 9, 2020 page 3
I’ve been organizing my thoughts for 24-hours, since the so-called first presidential political debate of this season unfolded, Tuesday, September 29, 2020. It was a debacle. It was an embarrassment. It was a disgrace. Who won? In my opinion, no one won. Trump didn’t win. Biden didn’t win. The American people didn’t win. And I had a raging headache before it was over.
Oh, how I wish this SCOOP column could get to Vice President Joe Biden. Honest to goodness, I think I could give him some sound tactics to use, as he prepares for the next debate against number 45. While we heard that Joe Biden did a lot of preparation in advance of the debate, I think his coaches failed him. Excuse me, but are there any real Black folks in the room, giving him advice about how to trounce the Trumpster during these debates? I wonder. In my opinion, Biden didn’t “clap back” nearly enough against some of the stupid things Trump claimed.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, October 6, 2020 page 2
There are so many things voters need to be aware of as we prepare to find out who wins the 2020 presidential election. I’d like to say we’ll know at the end of the day on general election day, November 3rd, but that is not happening. I think largely due to mail-in ballots, the final count will indeed take days after election day is behind us before American know who will be sworn in as president in January of 2021.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, October 2, 2020 page 3
In a show of support for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, U. S. Congresswomen lined the steps of the Capitol building and looked on as the flag-draped casket of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was carried out by a joint services military honor guard after lying in state, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in Washington. The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a Gatekeeper to our Constitution and Democracy and a leader of the liberal arm of the U.S. Supreme Court; and there is a lot at stake with the death of the 87-year-old trailblazer. American citizens stand to lose a number of battles that have been fought and won for Equal Rights... if Donald Trump gets his way, going forward.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, September 29, 2020 page 2
Let’s not just talk about it. Let’s be about it. The general election is right around the corner, with everything at stake in America. Some of us just sit on the sidelines and talk about what we don’t like that’s happening with our elected officials. Then some of those very same people, if you look at their track record, you learn they don’t vote at all, or they only vote once in a while.
Now is not the time to sit on the fence of do-nothingness. Now is not the time to act like you want to be a spectator, rather than get in the game. America needs all hands on deck to save this country.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, September 25, 2020 page 3
Beware Voters across America. Since everything is at stake, this presidential election year, we all had better be aware and beware. A lot of “slickness” is going down. We’re hearing confirmed reports of the Russians still meddling in the U.S. election process this year. Donald Trump is trying to say the Chinese are meddling in this years’ political process, however the confirmed reports that I‘ve read and that have been publicized on national and local news media, indicate it’s the Russians, again.
At the same time, we have a Postmaster General who appears to be very much-so tainted by partisan politics and being a big cheerleader and supporter of Donald Trump.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, September 22, 2020 page 2
No stranger to hosting a radio talk show, former Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Thomasine Tynes now hosts a talk program called “Here Comes The Judge Show”, every 3rd Sunday of the month, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. on radio station WURD which simulcasts the program on 900AM and 96.1/FM. The program can also be heard live online at
www.900amwurd.com and on Judge Tynes Facebook page.
Judge Tynes stated, “About a year before the old WHAT radio station was sold by Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, I hosted a one-hour program there called “Rappin’ With the Judge.” That show was all about traffic court issues and assisting callers with navigating through the Philadelphia Traffic Court System.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, September 18, 2020 page 3
Everybody has an opinion about a lot of issues. As a columnist, that’s what my publisher and editor expect me to do- share my opinion. I’ve been stewing over the story about the homeless people setting up encampments or tent cities, for months now, weighing all sides of the story. I’ve also been talking to people from Philadelphia to see what they think about the issue. I’ve spoken with a handful of residents who live in the immediate impacted areas. I’ve talked with people who live in various parts of Philadelphia. I’ve spoken with some business owners, and I’ve heard what a number of elected officials are saying about the tent cities.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, September 15, 2020 page 2
Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity hosted their annual 9/11 Healing and Reconciliation Service Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. The program was held in the parking lot of Mount Airy Church of God In Christ, (GOGIC), located at 6401 Ogontz Avenue. For those who chose to observe social distancing guidelines, this special service was also livestreamed on the Facebook Page of Mount Airy COGIC. Log on at
https://vimeo.com/mtairycogiclive. Even after the event, people can log on at this address and watch the service.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, September 11, 2020 page 2
I am about sick of writing about all the violence in Philadelphia. Over 300 people have been murdered this year, and it feels like there’s no end in sight. Although I’m sick and tired of writing about the violence, here I go again. Maybe something I say in my columns will stick.
One of the things that greatly confused me as I watched the Democratic National Convention on television recently, was when Joe Biden basically said he would help end violence once he’s President. If I had an opportunity to ask Mr. Biden a question it would be, how do you plan to do that Sir? If I were one of Joe Biden’s handlers, I’d warn him not to make promises that he cannot keep. The problem with violence in Philadelphia, and across America in many cities is way bigger than Joe Biden. It’s bigger than being the President of the United States.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, September 8, 2020 page 2
Let me first share that I think the NAACP is as important today as ever, and that we need to continue to support the NAACP. For transparencies sake, I would also share that I was a very proud member of the Philadelphia NAACP from the days of the late Alphonso Deal, through the leadership of Thornhill Cosby, through the leadership of J. Wyatt Mondesire, and the leadership of Minister Rodney Muhammad. I was not one of those die-hard, “always at the meeting members,” that is—up until Rodney Muhammad became the president. Under presidents before him, I always felt like, there were a ton of active members, overseeing all the various committees and thus, I only needed to pay my membership dues and show up once in a while, for an event or two. That was my attitude back then.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, September 4, 2020 page 2
By and large, to tell the truth, I am not a fan of watching political conventions on television, for Democrats or for Republicans. To me, they are kind of boring. However, when Barack Obama addressed the Democratic Convention when he was a Senator, and later when he was a candidate for president, both times, I was transfixed. I could not move. I could only zone in on what Barack Obama was saying. This year during the 2020 Democratic National Convention, again, once I knew that First Lady Michelle Obama and Barack Obama, plus Kamala Harris would be speaking. Of course, I was glued to the television screen. I even felt fired up as I listened to Joe Biden address America from the Democratic National Convention this year.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, September 1, 2020 page 2
My question is, where’s the assistance for community newspapers during COVID 19? It seems crazy to me, that for all the critical information that community newspapers such as the SCOOP USA Media Community Newspaper doles out each week, twice a week, one of these “grant- giving” organizations ought to recognize our worth. For me to get this column passed by publisher and owner, Sherri Darden will be an act of God, a miracle. The SCOOP Publisher is a very proud, determined African American woman who truly has been standing on her own two feet since she purchased the SCOOP Newspaper shortly before the original owner and publisher, R. Sonny Driver passed.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, August 25, 2020 page 3
By the time I wrote this column, there was one day left before the conclusion of the 2020 Democratic National Convention. This was the most different kind of Democratic National Convention ever, because of the Coronavirus. While Americans who watch political conventions every four years are used to very large gatherings filled to the brim with political supporters holding signs naming the candidate of their choice, this year was a game changer. Those in charge of the DNC opted for safety purposes, to do all their presentations, and campaign infomercials via pre-recorded statements. Truly the DNC convention was like none we’d ever seen before. At the end of next week, I’ll give my take on the Republican National Convention.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, August 25, 2020 page 2
Depending on what school district you live in, things can still be a toss-up, just weeks before schools normally would open. It’s so hard to plan and my heart goes out to parents, children, teachers and administrators. Everyone wants to do what’s best for the children and all others involved. However, the Coronavirus is an ever-changing moving situation. One week things may look good in city “A” and lawmakers and other decision-makers are thinking, “good.’ We’ll reopen the schools for regular session like normal. Then out of nowhere there will be a pocket of new Coronavirus cases reported and that will be the game changer.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, August 21, 2020 page 3
What a life story Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris has to tell. And the best is still yet to come. On Wednesday, August 12, 2020, Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden made history when he announced his choice of a running mate for the upcoming November 3rd General Election. He announced his choice is United States Senator and former Presidential contender herself, Kamala Harris.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, August 18, 2020 page 2
Kwame Bradley photo
Over this past weekend, 7 year-old Zamar Jones was buried. He’s the little boy who was shot in the head while playing outside on his parents’ porch, with one of his favorite toys, at their home in West Philadelphia. Just a few days later, a 6-yearold girl was shot in the chest at 42nd and Mantua. She was outside with family members while they were barbequing. She was released from Saint Christopher’s Hospital for children, amazingly.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, August 14, 2020 page 3
PA State Senator Vincent Hughes hosted a Zoom meeting Thursday, August 6th to discuss what’s ahead for our Philadelphia public school students in light of the fact they will be learning online, rather than in person, for the foreseeable future due to the pandemic. On the same evening in the same time frame, the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity hosted a virtual town hall meeting on Facebook and on Zoom, to discuss “Educating Children Virtually, What Will It Look Like,” starting the new Fall school semester of 2020. The good news is that the city of Philadelphia does have a new plan on how to ensure that our youth, even low income youth, will have all the tools they need, to learn from home, online. The concerning news is, will all the students who need online access the most, get it in a timely fashion.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, August 11, 2020 page 2
It’s taking everything in me to write this SCOOP column today. My heart is heavy. My brain hurts. My fingers feel like lead as I try to write this column. I can barely see the keys on my keypad because of the tears flowing from my eyes. As a Christian woman, I keep reminding myself that we are not supposed to question God. God is in control and He is all powerful. But I just do not understand why another innocent, precious child is dead today, dead because someone or more than one someone was shooting guns. A seven year old little boy, who should be playing with his family of friends right now, is laying in a morgue.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, August 7, 2020 page 2
It always amazes me when some people say, “America is not racist anymore. I never experienced racism personally. People don’t act like that anymore.” People who think that racism is not still alive and well in the United States are living in a bubble. They’re living in some dream world. They are as naïve as they come.
Silly me, I would like to think that racism Is not flourishing inside the First Judicial District, (FJD), amongst some staff and Judges. But it seems, racism is still a reality within the FJD. Mind you, I have believed all along that unfortunately there are some white Judges—who as they sit on the bench, and look at Black defendants, and all they see is color. They see nothing but the color of a person’s skin. These same Judges then make harsh judgements against these defendants, sending them away for years, when some perhaps, did not deserve a sentence at all, but should have been found innocent. Some staff that work for the FJD who are not judges, but nonetheless are employed by the First Judicial District, are also racists.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, August 4, 2020 page 2
It’s a shame it’s taken the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis; the murder of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky; and a number of other murders for America to get angry and fed-up enough about racial injustices that finally, some change is taking place.
Some might say, “These are baby steps.” However for people going through racism and being mistreated every day, just because of the color of their skin, what seems like baby steps to others are giant steps to those going through the disrespect.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, July 31, 2020 page 3
Sometimes it feels as if there are two different rule books to govern by, in the city of Philadelphia. One book of rules is largely for white people and a handful of others. The second book is for poor Black people. Case in point, the homeless people’s encampment or tent city that has sprung up along historic Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and a homeless center/cafe, in the mix, at 63rd Street & W. Girard Avenue in West Philadelphia. The homeless peoples’ tent city on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, I am told, is largely made up of white people, with some Blacks scattered in the scenario. The homeless center/cafe at 63rd & Girard Avenue housed only African Americans up until the wee hours of Saturday morning, July18th.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, July 28, 2020 page 4
I feel overwhelmed. I don’t know about you, but to see so many of our Black History and American History icons making transition, some of us are getting a feeling of being bombarded with death. To make matters worse, these icons since the advent of COVID-19, can’t even get the true kind of send-off, or celebration of their lives that they so deserve. The most recent African American icon to now make transition is the Honorable Congressman John Lewis.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, July 24, 2020 page 3
Philadelphia Magazine reported in a July 15, 2020 article, 'Chaka Fattah, Sr. has been mysteriously released from Federal prison way early.' The Philadelphia Inquirer in a published report dated July 15, 2020 stated, 'Federal prison officials sent former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah home early to Philly, won't say why.' To me, it sounds as if some people who sit high and look low are judging again. Who gives anyone, other than actual judges who sit on the bench, the right to look down on someone else and think they have all the answers.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, July 21, 2020 page 3
As I write the last of a three-part series on African Americans running for Congress in 2020, I am impressed, proud and very pleased to inform our SCOOP readers that there are so many seeking seats in the United States Congress or in the United States Senate.
Ayanna Pressley is a Democratic incumbent Congresswoman who hails from the state of Massachusetts. She is an advocate, a policy maker, an activist, and a survivor. Congresswoman Ayanna believes that the people closet to the pain should be closest to the power and that a diversity of voices in the political process is essential to crafting more effective public policy.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, July 17, 2020 page 3
I mistakenly thought that when one retires or becomes semi-retired, the days of the week, the date and the time of day become a little less important. Oh how wrong I was. I find myself tracking the date and days every day, even moreso since the advent of COVID-19 and with a major presidential election looming on the horizon. Timing is everything. I take nothing for granted and neither should you, whether retired, semi-retired, or working at a full-time job or career. Everyone old enough to know right from wrong, be that a pre-teen, a full pledged teenager, a young adult, a yuppie, a millennial, a middle aged person, or a seasoned citizen should be checking, in every day with the news or health department, on the internet, by phone or even with neighbors to get the latest updates on the pandemic.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, July 14, 2020 page 3
Last week for our SCOOP Online Newspaper, I wrote about 19 of the African American leaders across our nation who are running for Congress. And guess what, that wasn’t the total list. Today I’ll share with you the names and a little of the background on the rest of those who are running for Congress in an upcoming primary or in the General Election come November 3rd.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, July 10, 2020 page 3
Yes, the Coronavirus Pandemic has not ended, but guess what? Life must go on, perhaps not the way we were used to life being, but we must carry on. To that end, things such as filling out a census form for all those who live in your household is critical.
Here is some basic information about the U.S. Census. The Census happens once every ten years. The U.S. Constitution requires that everyone living in the entire country is counted every decade. The first Census was taken in the year 1790. The census form itself is a short questionnaire that asks about who you are, and where you live. It is a way to count everyone living in the United States. It matters in a very critical way.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, July 3, 2020 page 3
Across the nation, there’s an impressive list of African Americans running for U.S. Congress. Quiet as its kept, the ScoopUSA Media Community Newspaper wants to be one of the media outlets to inform you of the qualified African American candidates who want to help turn the tide of politics from the way #45 has been running things for the last almost four years. Political insiders declare, “It’s not just about focusing on who is running for President. We have to be vigilant about helping good candidates who are qualified to win seats in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, actually get there.”
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, June 29, 2020 page 3
The Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity has come out in full support of the District Attorney’s Office and the Public Defender’s Office at a time when Philadelphia City Council is recommending slashing their budgets. They held a press conference Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. outside in front of the O.V. Catto statue on the South side of City Hall. According to Rev. Robert Collier, President of Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity, “The purpose of this press conference was to demonstrate support to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office, and the Public Defender’s office, at a time when Philadelphia City Council is recommending that their budgets be slashed by 20%. If these recommended cuts actually go through, the District Attorney’s office could possibly face having to lay off 120 staff members, during the time of this ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Currently, largely due to the health crisis, the Philadelphia court system has a great deal of backlog, therefore it will make it even more difficult, for people who are languishing in jail, to be able to get their trial, get a fair trial, and be able to possibly have an opportunity to be released from incarceration.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, June 26, 2020 page 3
There’s a new internet radio station in Philadelphia. It’s African American owned and their focus is Gospel Music. The station is Philly’s Favor 100.7/FM. Rev. Jonathan A. Mason, pastor of the Northeast Baptist Church located at Lackawanna street in the Frankford section of Philadelphia, is the proud owner and visionary of Philly’s Favor.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, June 23, 2020 page 3
To the very best of my ability, over the years I’ve been proud to write for the SCOOP USA Media Community Newspaper. I’ve always tried to write articles or columns that were relevant to the times we are living in. I feel that my column today is definitely right on point with the times we are living in, recognizing why it’s important that African Americans observe and celebrate Juneteenth. It is supposed to be observed on June 19th, however just as we celebrate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday for almost a whole week, for example. We can do the same with Juneteenth.
This year, Juneteenth, (June 19th falls on Friday). If these were normal times we were living in, Kenny Gamble and his Juneteenth group, and Cornelia Swinson and her Juneteenth group in Germantown, more than likely, would have held their parades and other Juneteenth observances on Saturday, June 20th. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, the Juneteenth celebrations that normally would have taken place in Philadelphia, are on ice for this year.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, June 19, 2020 page 3
For me, the “paper trail” are all the envelopes mailed in late to the Philadelphia City Commissioner’s Office and across Pennsylvania. Vote by Mail ballots that did not get counted in the Tuesday, June 2, 2020 Primary Election. I have a sinking feeling in my gut that something’s not right. I recognize that this was the first time ever, that Pennsylvania offered a vote by mail option, or a vote online option. Finally, we’ve made it to the big times. But the question is, did we fail miserably with our first effort?
From where I sit, it feels like enough work was not done in advance of the primary election in Pennsylvania, to really get would-be voters revved up and prepared to vote using the new vote by mail system or voting online. We don’t have any time for dropping the ball, for pointing fingers, for using the COVID-19 pandemic or the rioting in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd as sorry excuses. The days for excuses and blame is over.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, June 16, 2020 page 3
I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard some mixed results in terms of what people thought about voting in person, in Philadelphia on Primary Election Day, Tuesday, June 2. I also heard some mixed reviews on how the vote by mail concept unfolded. There seems to have been some confusion on both levels. Granted nothing is always going to go perfectly, and this being the first time ever that we’ve had vote by mail in Pennsylvania, I can imagine there were some hiccups, if you will.
I have heard reports that there were some polling places where some of the machines were not working and these are new machines mind you. There were some polling places I am told where election day workers never showed up. Then I am told there were some polling locations where the lines were just long.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, June 12, 2020 page 3
I’ve always been told the best medicine for when you get knocked down, is to get back up, to rise again to see another day. That’s the kind of fighting spirit Jeff Brown, the owner of more than ten Shop Rite Supermarkets in Philadelphia has done. Despite the fact that two of his stores were broken into during the height of the looting a week ago, rather than throw his arms up in despair and declare, “I’m done with this city,” Jeff Brown and his team put their heads together, got to cleaning and disinfecting and restocking, and on Friday, June 5th, he reopened his store at Fox and Hunting Park Avenue.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, June 9, 2020 page 3
My heart is so heavy. My soul is down in my feet. I feel as if I can't breathe. To say that I am shocked that another Black person has been murdered in America, unjustly so, would be a lie. Because I am a Black woman, a Black mother, a Black Grandmother, a Black wife, a Black Aunt and I have been Black all my life. I know what it is to be concerned every time your son or husband or nephew or cousin leaves the house to go to the store on some errand or trip. Equally, to tell you the truth, when my granddaughter, (the college level one in particular), goes to events and things that take her out of the home, I get concerned for her safety. Why? Because she's Black, living in America.
Our reality is that Black men and Black women and Black boys and girls are getting murdered in America. Yes, there's the Black on Black crime that needs to be dealt with, but that's not what I'm talking about this time. I'm talking about the murders of Black people at the hands of bad apples in police departments across the nation, (who are white), and the murders of Blacks at the hands of racist white supremacist types, who may or may not be police officers.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, June 5, 2020 page 3
In the 190th Legislative District, which takes in a large part of West Philadelphia, and a piece of North Philadelphia is like a déjà vu situation. Here we go again. This is one of the districts in Philadelphia that is truly begging for some stability in leadership. Currently PA State Representative Roni Green is the sitting Representative for this district. She won the seat during a special election earlier this year just before the COVID-19 Pandemic became a reality for us in America. Roni Green got the nod of support from the Democratic City Committee for her special election and she has their support again in this June 2nd Primary. Roni Green also has the support of a powerful and popular union, SEIU Union, of which she was a proud member for over two decades of her professional career.
Prior to becoming an elected official, Roni Green was a business agent for SEIU Local 668. Roni Green explained how it came to be that she is a candidate for PA State Representative in the first place.” It actually came through my union, I work for SEIU Local 668, which is The Service Employees International Union. I was having a conversation with my Legislative Director for our Union, shortly after the news of what happened with State Rep. Movita Johnson Harrell. After that discussion, we decided this was the right time for me to run for political office.”
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, June 2, 2020 page 2
The Democratic incumbent PA State representative who leads the 188th legislative district has been in office from 1985 until now. If you ask some, "How's he done as an elected official," they will answer, "He's done a great job."
If you ask some other people that same question, the response might not be as favorable. One thing is for sure, you can never please all of the people all of the time. To be an elected official is a daunting task. The truth of the matter is, while you may give fifteen thousand people over here what they want, another pocket of three thousand people will be miffed because they didn't get what they wanted from their elected official.
There are four people running for the 188th district seat, one of them being the incumbent, PA State Representative James Roebuck. He was first elected to office in 1985 during a special election. He's a graduate of Central High School, Virginia Union University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree and the University of Virginia where he earned his master's degree.
Rep. Roebuck is the Chair of the Education Committee. He is the Community College Caucus Co-Chairman. He sits on the Arts & Culture Caucus, as well as the Bio-Technology/Life Science Caucus. He sits on the Diabetes Caucus and Early Childhood Education caucus. He sits on the LGBTQ Equality Caucus and the Women's Health Caucus as well, in addition to several other caucuses.
Roebuck fought for and got $110K in grants awarded to fund the Clark Park project. He got $44K in grants awarded to the Woodland Trust for Historic Preservation and the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. He's known for fighting for funding to fix toxic schools in PA and there are many other things that State Rep. Roebuck has done to uplift Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. The question remains however how long, is too long to hold a public office.
Gregory Benjamin, a longtime community activist and committeeman from the Southwest area of Philadelphia says he wants the state representative seat now held by Jim Roebuck. He was born and raised in Philadelphia. He is a husband of 29 years, a father and a grandfather. He holds a master's degree in Human Services and has dedicated his career to helping people with intellectual disabilities.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, May 29, 2020 page 3
In the case of Mel Wells, the President of One Day At A Time, (ODAAT), the saying “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”, is so true. Just like his father before him, (Rev. Henry T. Wells, the Founder of ODAAT), Mel Wells works tirelessly, 24/7 to make a positive difference in the city of Philadelphia and most particularly, for people in drug and alcohol recovery , for people living with HIV or AIDS and for people who are trying to help stop the violence on our streets. Mel Wells day in and day out, continues to carry on the legacy and the mission of his father.
Just this week officially, One Day At A Time has opened a Drop-In Center for people in need at 2646 Kensington Avenue, (Kensington and Leigh Avenue). It’s called “Drop- In At Bevilacqua and its open 24/7. They offer COVID-19 testing there Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. The testing is administered by an organization known as Philadelphia Fight. They offer 3 meals a day there for people in need, access to bathrooms and showers, a safe place to sleep for a limited number of individuals both male and female and recovery support resources.
Mel Wells commented, ”People have to keep in mind that for those who need a place to sleep overnight, its on a first come, first serve basis, daily, because space is limited. We did a soft open last week and a full pledged open this week. By the end of this week, we’ll have up to 38 people living in the facility. This is not just a place for people with addictions, its for people who need help. We’re bumping to people out on the street who are just homeless. They’re down on their luck and they need a place to stay. Some of the emergency is because of the coronavirus pandemic and again, people not having a place to stay.”
To Read more Thera Martin, visit ScoopUSA Media, May 26, 2020 page 3
In last week's column, I shared about how small Black-owned businesses are hurting in some of Philadelphia's poorest communities Lancaster Avenue, 52nd Street, 63rd Street, in West Philadelphia; North 22nd Street in North Philadelphia; Germantown Avenue; Point Breeze Avenue and Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia, are many of the business corridors where there is an abundance of small business owners, quite a few of them being owned by African Americans. I would also note that by far, the majority of these businesses along our business corridors in low-income neighborhoods only have one two or maybe three people on staff. It seems that because of that, these businesses are being overlooked when it comes to the supposed emergency stimulus funding from the Federal Government.
Ken Curry, president of the North 22nd Street Business Association stated," Along the official North 22nd Street business corridor, we have 110 businesses. Since COVID-19 hit, only essential businesses were allowed to open, which includes the Save-A-Lot Supermarket; Dave's Meat Market; Country Cooking, Take Out Restaurant; A Mom and Pop Corner Store at 22nd and Somerset Street, and several Chinese Food take-out Restaurants along our corridor. We also have one Jamaican Food Restaurant that does take out. That's it. All the other businesses along the corridor had to close and to date, we're not back up and running yet. So yes, its' impacted our corridor greatly in a negative way.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, April 24, 2020 - page 3
Depending on your industry, a small business could be defined as a business with a maximum of 250 employees or a maximum of 1,500 employees. They're privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships that have less revenue than larger businesses. That's one definition of what a "small business" is. Then I went directly to the U.S. Small Business Administration's website to get their definition of a small business.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration standards, a small business, depending on your industry, could be defined as a business with a maximum of 250 employees or a maximum of 1,500 employees. They're privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships that have less revenue than larger businesses. With 28 million small businesses making up 99.7% of all U.S. firms, small business is big business for the United States economy.
Even as I was reading what the Small Business Administration, (SBA) has to say about "small businesses," all I could think about was the small businesses that I know of in Philadelphia such as beauty salons and barbershops, Mom and Pop corner stores, and even boutiques where you see maybe two or three workers on staff. What about those small businesses? I would think, aren't they the first ones who should get some stimulus money to help them survive through the coronavirus pandemic. In a perfect world, the smallest of businesses should be the first on the list to get assistance, but hey, who said the world was perfect right?
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, April 24, 2020 - page 3
Imagine listening to Governor Wolf on TV and Radio declaring that all non-essential workers in PA must stay inside and keep your children inside. No one should go out except to replenish food and health care supplies if needed. Then as an Operator of a Licensed Personal Care Home, you get a message from the very agency that says whether you can keep a license or not, tells you, "Let your residents go out if they want to. Let them go to see their doctors, etc. By law, you cannot force them to stay inside."
These have been some trying times at Licensed Personal Care Homes in Philadelphia, but it seems like nobody in a position of power, cares. Personal Care Homeowners in Philadelphia are crying out for help. Due to concerns of retaliation or trumped-up fines from the PA Bureau of Human Services Licensing Department, (BHSL), the Personal Care Homeowners who have shared this vital information do not want to be named in this column. As a journalist however I accept their charges of inequity in terms of how they're treated by PA State decision-makers when it comes to who gets funding and who does not. I've been interviewing personal care homeowners for a year before the pandemic hit.
(Wednesday, April 8, 2020) Governor Tom Wolf was on television giving an update on how the state is working to address COVID-19. Secretary of Health for the state of Pennsylvania Dr. Rachel Levine stated during that Covid-19 update, "There was some recent CMS guidance about nursing homes and long-term care living facilities. One option would be that one facility or even more likely, maybe a wing on a facility could be for patients with COVID-19. We would cohort those patients and then separate other residents and the staff from the patients who are positive for COVOID-19. We are looking at that to see how we might operationalize that in consultation with long-term care living facilities themselves."
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, April 17, 2020 - page 3
Everybody at Solid Rock Baptist Church at 1836 Federal Street in South Philadelphia knows that the Pastor's wife, Debra Busby can sew and that she can sew well. Everybody at the church also knows that Church Deaconess Dawn Wilson sews very well, and she does it as a business. Her business name is Dawn To Dusk, Inc. Little did anyone know that these two women would be stepping up to the plate of help, to create face masks for children hospitalized at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, or for a couple of Ambulance businesses. But that is exactly what has happened.
"I've been making dresses, baby blankets and jackets, and curtains and cushions for our church pews and all other sorts of items over the years. I never knew that the talent God gave me for sewing would one day, become an essential service during a pandemic," Debra Busby commented. "For me, once this coronavirus really hit home in Philadelphia, my first thought was, I need to make some face masks for my family members. By the time the coronavirus became a reality for us, it was already too late to run to Walmart or Lowe's, or Home Depot or CVS, to try and purchase face masks. So, I knew what I needed to do. I needed to make them.
. "Busby added," Personally, I've been wearing the face masks from the very beginning of this thing. When I heard news coverage where it was being reported, "The general public doesn't need to wear face masks", I said to myself, no, no, no. The government just doesn't want us to buy them all out. Especially when the news reports said people age 60 and over or people with underlying health issues, I knew I needed to start wearing a mask immediately. I'm over 60 and I have a health concern. I have Sarcoidosis, which is a lung disease and I've had that health issue since 1999. I've been in remission and I'm not trying to flair it up."
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, April 10, 2020 - page 3
The Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity takes very seriously safeguarding the health and welfare of the members of its community, including those remanded to the custody of the criminal justice system. According to Rev. Robert Collier, President of Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity, “The current rates of infection of the coronavirus place incarcerated persons (along with those that oversee them) at particular risk due to the problem of overcrowded jails and the inability to house inmates in a way that maintains safe social distancing guidelines.”
Collier says that controlling infection rates in the prison system can only be done effectively through the isolation of inmates (one per cell). The maximum number of persons that can be housed in the Philadelphia prison system while maintaining safe levels of isolation is approximately 2,500. Currently there are over 4,400 inmates incarcerated. The way things stand right now in Pennsylvania for example, this is a formula for disaster, not only for the inmates, who would be literal “sitting ducks” should an outbreak occur in the prisons; but also for corrections officers, attorneys and social workers, who risk bringing the virus home and furthering its spread throughout their communities. Efforts to flatten the curve of rates of infection will be inevitably frustrated by the lack of ability to control its spread throughout the prison system.”
The Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity leadership, having considered concerns previously expressed by the Philadelphia Police Department, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office and the Philadelphia Public Defender’s office, are calling for the immediate release of all inmates in Philadelphia prisons who:
• Have already served their minimum sentences and are worthy of parole
• Are within six months of their minimum sentences for non-violent offenses and are worthy of early parole
• Are elderly, ill, and/or infirm
• Are being held pre-trial for non-violent and misdemeanor offenses simply because they could not afford bail
• Are being detained on parole violations that do not involve new crimes
• Are good candidates for alternative detention, such as house arrest or GPS monitoring, or
• Are Juvenile offenders who are deemed to pose no safety threat to the public
The degree of danger that this virus poses risks sentencing inmates, some of whom have not been convicted of a crime, and others who have not committed “heinous” crimes, to what could become a death sentence. Rev. Collier stated, “We must act on this quickly, as the infections among the general population are climbing exponentially. We call upon the Philadelphia judiciary to ACT IMMEDIATELY”.
To read more Thera Martin, view ScoopUSA Media, April 3, 2020 - page 3
Senator Bernie Sanders, please consider getting out of the race now and I mean right now.
There were twenty-nine major Democratic candidates in the race at the beginning of the 2020 Democratic Primary Elections. The nominee would go on to face-off against Donald Trump during the General Election Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Over the month of July 2019, twenty-five of these candidates actually had active campaigns unfolding simultaneously. By October 15, 2019 when there was a debate in Westerville, Ohio, only twelve Democratic candidates were featured. That in and of itself set a record for the highest number of candidates appearing for one presidential debate.
Six women were a part of the initial crew of Democratic Candidates vying for the White House, which also made history because that’s the first time so many women were running for the nation’s top job. It’s also important to note that there were seven major Democratic candidates in the race for the White House, at the beginning of this 2020 presidential election year who were of African, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander ancestry.
To read more Thera Martin, view SCOOP USA Media, March 27, 2020 - page 3
We have so many outstanding African American women in Philadelphia and beyond who deserve to have their stories told. Women’s History Month is just not enough time to celebrate all of them. Having said that, this week we are shinning the spotlight on Keir Bradford-Grey, who is the first African American woman to hold the position of Chief Defender with the Defender Association in Philadelphia.
Keir Bradford-Grey began her tenure as Chief Defender in September 2015, following service as Chief Defender of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. At the Defender Association, Ms. Bradford-Grey focuses on serving the citizens of Philadelphia through innovative programs that empower communities and ensure that justice is fair and final. Ms. Bradford-Grey has spearheaded initiatives to help clients develop skills to successfully re-enter their communities after serving their time in the justice system.
Ms. Bradford-Grey has established partnerships with others in the community – from judges to prosecutors to nonprofits – to advance client-centered representation, empower individuals to advocate for themselves at every stage of the system, and make communities stronger and safer. These efforts include bringing participatory defense – a dynamic community-driven criminal justice reform program – to both Montgomery County and Philadelphia. She also devotes time and resources toward “pre-entry” so that people facing charges receive critical assistance and services to support fair and just outcomes over routinely incarcerating people before trial.
To read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, March 20, 2020 - page 3
Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes has made history. She is the first woman president of Philadelphia O.I.C. and we celebrate her today. Here’s some of what she had to say about her new position.
“It is an incredible honor to have the opportunity to carry the mission of Rev. Leon Sullivan forward. I felt that way from the moment I was invited to submit my name for consideration. This legacy, this work is so important. In some ways I feel, given that what’s going on in our communities, its even more important now than it was in 1964.”
In terms of the work ahead to be accomplished Judge Hughes shared, “I think the most important thing for me to focus on right now is, that I have a wonderful team. However, the need is extraordinary. And to begin to put a dent in the 26% poverty rate in our city, I have to expand the programs. First and foremost in my mind is looking for new partnerships to collaborate with to develop the jobs that not only exist in Philadelphia today, but the jobs that will exist tomorrow. I’m really active in the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the African American Chamber of Commerce.
To read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, March 13, 2020 - page 3
It’s Women’s History Month once again and time to celebrate some outstanding African American women from Philadelphia in particular.
The first woman we are celebrating is a young woman who is making great strides. She’s making her mark. She takes her position as an elected official very seriously and she keeps her ear to the ground and her staff and herself well connected to the community. I’m referring to Pennsylvania State Representative Joanna McClinton. She came into the position during a special election at a time when many in the African American community were rocked with shock, disappointment, hurt and understanding, as very popular PA State Representative Ron Waters had to resign from office because he got caught up in a sting that many feel was a set-up for a let-down.
There’s a saying I’ve often heard in churches where I have worshipped, “Be Yea Ever ready”, and Joanna McClinton was ready to step into the cast-away shoes of PA State Representative Ron Waters. Most importantly Joanna McClinton was already a woman of God. She came from good stock, a strong family with a strong family background. She was already a smart worker and a hard worker. She had already earned her undergraduate degree as well as her law degree and she was on staff as legal counsel in the office of PA State Senator Anthony H. Williams, (the son of powerful late PA State Senator Hardy Williams, Esq.Thus Joanna McClinton came to the job of being a State Representative, already well-versed, primed, knowledgeable and more than prepared to take up the leadership mantel of the 191st legislative district.
To read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, March 6, 2020 - page 3
So any and everyone who pays even half attention to the news, has heard about this new deadly illness called The Coronavirus. Where did it come from and how did it start? In my column today I’ll share what I’ve researched about this “out of nowhere” illness. I’ll also share, the most recent health precautions I can find, to keep you as safe as possible from the Coronavirus. Bottom line is, be careful.
Let me start with my wonderful neighbor Mi Tu who shared an excerpt from a book her husband read, that ironically, even though written in 1981, zeroes-in on the Coronavirus scare we’re all witnessing right now. Hmmm.
The book was published in 1981 entitled, “The Eyes of Darkness,” written by Dean Koontz. (Google the book online. It’s accessible). Here’s the excerpt that kind of put a chill over me: “To understand that,” Dombey said, “you have to go back twenty months. It was around then that a Chinese scientist named Li Chen defected to the United States, carrying a newest biological weapon in a decade. They call the stuff ”Wuhan-400” because it was developed at their RDNA labs outside the city of Wuhan, and it was the four-hundredth viable strain of man-made micro-organisms created at that research center. “Wuhan-400 is a perfect weapon. It afflicts only human beings. No other living creature can carry it. Like syphilis, Wuhan-400 can’t survive outside a living human body for longer than a minute, which means it can’t permanently contaminate objects or entire places the way anthrax and other virulent micro-organisms can. And when the host expires, the Wuhan-400 within him perishes a short while later, as soon as the temperature of the corpse drops below six degrees Fahrenheit.”
To read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, February 28 2020 - page 3
For many years, (over fifteen), me and my family were residents of the 190th Legislative District. The district includes the majority of West Philadelphia, Overbrook, Wynnfield and even a slice of North Philadelphia in more recent years. We used to live in the 100 block of North Wilton Street. I used to vote in the 190th legislative district and I always considered myself a cheerleader for West Philadelphia and surrounding areas because I am a loyalist. Even when things go sour, my first move is not to condemn and say throw the baby out with the bathwater.
The 190th Legislative District is large with a diverse population. I would even dare to say there’s a great mix of income levels. Yes, you have people who live there who are low-come. You have people of middle-class income, and you even have some residents of the district who have a stash full of cash and so they would be considered well-off.
To read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, February 21, 2020 - page 3
Everybody who pays attention knows that there are a lot of problems within the Philadelphia Police Department, ranging from dealing with criminals on the street, to dealing with the “bad apples” that wear a badge and a police uniform. There’s certainly been cases and some still in litigation about white police officers for example, who do or say racist things in the workplace. There’s been reports from some Black police officers in recent years, where they found nooses hanging in lockers, the word niggers, written on pieces of paper and places where officers of color could find those racist words in the workplace. There’s been allegations of police officers with senior ranking, who have touched the behinds of female officers or touched them in appropriately in other place on their bodies. This has happened to both black and white female officers.
Mind you, since none of this type of obscene activities happened this year, I‘m referring to these events happening in recent past years.
To read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, February 14, 2020 - page 3
For the purpose of complete transparency, let me first let my SCOOP USA Media Readers know that I consider Dawn Chavous a friend. We’re not the kind of friends where I can tell you, I hung out at her house, or that we’ve ever gone out together for lunch. But she’s the kind of friend that has just always been steady, always been there for me, in the background if I need someone to listen to me talk about my failed second marriage, or challenges of being in the public relations business, or just talking about our love for our mothers. We never went shopping together at the mall. I wasn’t a guest at her wedding to City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson. Sidebar: For my first and second marriages, everybody and Lottie Dottie wanted to attend my wedding. People would stop me on the street and say stuff like, “I heard you were getting married. Where’s my invitation?” As one plans their wedding, you cannot invite the whole world, so to be clear, I was not offended by not getting an invite to my friend Dawn’s wedding). I still feel like Dawn Chavous is a friend and when a friend is under attack, if you really care about that friend, you speak up.
In my own words, here’s what I know of Dawn Chavous. First of all, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Dawn Chavous’ mother is Barbara Chavous. She was the right hand to the late Pennsylvania State Senator Hardy Williams for many years. Barbara Chavous has a stellar reputation and record, as does her daughter Dawn. It was no surprise to many, to see Dawn Chavous follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a consultant to a number of wanna-be elected officials and to some successful political candidates who did in fact become elected officials. Also like her mother, Dawn Chavous has become a stellar, very professional, on-point and on-time public relations person in Pennsylvania. By her own merits because of the very excellent PR work she does, her name and the name of her business, Chavous Consulting has spread like wild fire. Anyone with good sense and the budget to afford Dawn Chavous, has hired her.
To read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, February 7, 2020 - page 3
Chances that Kobe Bryant and Heshimu Jaramogi ever met are probably pretty slim. However both these African American men made a major difference in this world while they lived and both passed, when none of us saw it coming. Basketball star Kobe Bryant at the age of forty-one, was killed, along with his thirteen year old daughter and seven other people in a horrible helicopter crash Sunday, January 26, 2020. Heshimu Jaramogi, passed away on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at the age of sixty-seven. In both cases, their deaths rocked many. Heshimu was not nearly as well known as Kobe, but nonetheless, where Heshimu worked and lived, he made a positive contribution to those around him and was loved and admired by countless numbers.
Kobe Bryant being a super basketball star, was of course internationally known. His demeanor, behavior, lifestyle and character are what gave him so much respect, not to leave out the fact that he was all that on the basketball court. Equally important, he was all that, off the basketball court. Which is not to say Kobe was perfect or a Saint. Let the one amongst us who is perfect, cast the first stone. More than anything I think, the life Kobe Bryant led was exemplary and a life to be proud of. Yes, to pass away at the age of forty-one we can all say, that was too short a life. He had so much to give and so much more to live for. He and his wife Vanessa, just recently had their fourth child, a precious baby girl. Now she and her other two surviving sisters will have top grow up the rest of their lives, without their father. At the end of the day however, we cannot question God or His Will.
To read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, January 31, 2020 - page 2
The Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity installed a new president on Sunday, January 19, 2020 at Mount Airy Church of God In Christ at 6401 Ogontz Avenue in Philadelphia’s West Oak Lane section. For the last four years, (two terms), Rev. Jay Broadnax led the clergy group. Rev. Robert Collier was elected president in December of 2019. He says he considers his greatest accomplishment in life to be called to serve on the battlefield for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ as an under-shepherd.
Rev. Collier has served God’s people as the pastor of Galilee Baptist Church of Philadelphia, for over 28 years. Prior to being called to Galilee, he served as the Interim Pastor of Philadelphia National Baptist Church for seven years. He’s a son of Zion Baptist Church of Philadelphia where he served as an associate minister under the pastorates of Rev. Dr. Leon H. Sullivan and Rev. Dr. Gus Roman. He was also an associated minister at the Christian Memorial Mission, in North Wales, PA and hosted their radio broadcast for over five years.
As a member for over 17 years, Pastor Collier values his membership in Black Clergy of Philadelphia & Vicinity. He first joined under the presidency of Rev. Dr. Robert P. Shine. He has held several positions including assistant secretary, assistant treasurer, treasurer, third vice president, second vice president and most recently, first vice president.
All past presidents of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia & Vicinity who were available were in attendance including, Rev. Dr. James Allen, the first president of this body; Rev. William B. Moore; Rev. Jay Broadnax; Rev. Terrence Griffith and Rev. Dr. Robert P. Shine. Ministers participating during the program included Rev. Clarence E. Wright, president of the PA Progressive Baptist Ministers Alliance; Rev. Dr. Joseph Connor, president of Hampton, VA Minister’s Conference; Rev. Dr. Wayne Weathers, president of PEKBA; Archbishop Mary Floyd Palmer, Presiding Prelate, Philadelphia Council of Clergy, Inc. and Minister Rodney Muhammad, Leader of the Nation of Islam, Mosque #12 in Philadelphia and president of the Philadelphia Branch, NAACP.
To read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, January 24, 2020 - page 3
Even though I was born in 1958, I always refer to myself as a “child of the sixties.” I am proud to say that my parents went to the historic “March on Washington;” they stood at the Lincoln Memorial as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous speech, “I Have A Dream.” They traveled by bus from Philadelphia to our nation’s capital for that great day in Black History. They also watched the news of the civil rights and human rights movement as it played itself out on television. I was just a young child, however, I recall the day that Dr. King was assassinated.
On the day Dr. King was murdered, my parents had a few married couples over at our home. My father and mother had prepared a lavish meal for their friends like they always did, sharing pig feet, chitlings, fried chicken and other soul food delights spread out on our dining room table like a feast fit for a King and his court. The day started out as a jovial occasion. As we always did, we children played nicely and quietly with the children of the other adults who’d come to visit, in the room delegated for the little ones.
Then all of a sudden…it seemed as if the world stood still. Everything became dead quiet and even us children, we noticed immediately that something was very wrong. The women in the kitchen and the men in the living room, went from laughing and having a good time, to screaming, moaning and crying, and saying, “No! No! No!” The men began to console the women, as they rushed from the kitchen into the living room area to be comforted. Both the men and women, had giant tears welled up in their eyes. The room grew eerily quiet as all ears and eyes turned to the television in disbelief.
To read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, January 17, 2020 - page 2
Every so often in Philadelphia, you’ll hear about a massive food give away, where all people need to do is show up and bring grocery bags or boxes with them. Depending on which organization is sponsoring the event, they may or may not ask for identification from you, but truly organizers make things as easy as possible. For the most part groups only require I.D. so they can clearly indicate who they assisted and how many people they helped for their own records. One of the groups I’ve witnessed, host these free food give-aways, three or four times a year, is the 39th Police District Clergy, and the 39th Police District Advisory Council. More recently, the Allegheny West Foundation and the Allegheny West Civic Association of Philadelphia, have teamed up with the 39th Police District Clergy and Advisory Council, to give away free food to those who really need it.
But the question is, where does all this free food come from?
The food comes from the Alternative Resource Network, (ARN) located at 309 N. Sumneytown Pike in North Wales, PA. Tyshaan Williams is the founder and president of ARN and he shared with me some of his story on how he’s able (with a core group of volunteers) to do what he does.
Tyshaan Williams stated, “Formally, we were just incorporated about a year ago as a non-profit, however, we’ve been operating for over eight years. The food is actually free. But there is a handling charge for the organizations who give the food away. We have to rent the trucks we use to deliver the food and we have to pay for the fuel for the trucks and for tolls on the highway. I have a license to drive a commercial truck and everyone who drives trucks for us of course has a commercial drivers license. It’s a volunteer effort however. Our drivers do not get paid.
To read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, January 10, 2020 - page 2
Making promises about what you will do differently or better in a new year is something that many of us do every year. It’s called a New Year’s Resolution. As I have matured, I found myself backing away from the usual list, such as, “I’m going to lose twenty pounds in the New Year.” Or “I’m not going to say one cuss word this year.” Or, “I won’t be fake about things I don’t like. If I don’t like something, I’m saying it.” I am tired of making promises to myself that I don’t, or won’t keep. So now that I’ve gotten to this point in my life, the fourth quarter, I simply want to keep it real. As I plan to eat healthier and actually do it, pounds will begin to drop. However, I’m not announcing, “I’m going to loose twenty pounds or more in 2020.” “Just do it,” as that famous slogan says.
Reality is, a lot of the things we want to do to make ourselves better or stronger, takes work. Some of us don’t want to do the work. One thing for sure about me, I’ve never been afraid of work. Heck all of my adult life until two years ago, I’ve always held down one full time and at least one part time job simultaneously. I always wanted to be able to take care of myself and my children.
But what about you? Have you decided to do some things differently in the new year. You know when you keep doing the same old things, you keep getting the same old results. So isn’t it time to get it right this time.? Failure is not a word in my personal vocabulary and I think we should all get rid of the words failure, I’m afraid to, and thoughts like “I’m not good enough.” For me, even at the age where God has Blessed me to be, “Failure is not an option.” Staying focused, being determined, being willing to put in the work, will continue to be how I carry myself and live out my life.
To read more Thera Martin , view SCOOP USA Media, January 3, 2020 - page 2