New publisher of Philly’s Scoop USA keeps a black-owned paper going with faith and own funds

Someone had alerted Cornell Horsey: Keep away from the guys playing dice on the streets outside Johnson Residences on Saturday night. But Cornell was 17 and brave. He went to the craps game anyway.When a boy rode up on a bike and fired gunshots into the crowd about 10:30 p.m., another teen, believed to be the intended target, pressed Cornell in front of him, individuals informed the family. Cornell died 8 minutes after midnight that Sunday early morning, Oct. 23, 1983. Sherri (pronounced Sha-REE) Horsey Darden was 14 when her older brother was killed. And a couple of years later, her more youthful bro started dealing drugs and hung around in and out of jail.Now 48, she understands all too well the tragedies that can occur in North Philadelphia.But Darden, the brand-new owner and publisher of Scoop U.S.A., the free, weekly community newspaper founded in 1960 by Richard"Sonny"Chauffeur, does not intend on dwelling on criminal activity."You go to a newsstand, and every paper is filled with the very same dead body on the front page. Why do I need to play a part of that game?"she asked from her brand-new workplace near the busy corner of Broad and Girard, its walls covered in bigger newspaper pages celebrating the renaming of West River Drive after Rev. Martin Luther King, a project Motorist led."For every single dead body, for every murder, there's someone on the other side doing something that is favorable, to improve our youths. It's not all unfavorable. We're not all negative."When Darden and her 2 brothers were 7, 10

and 13, they moved into Johnson Houses, a public-housing job at 25th Street and Ridge Opportunity, with their granny after their mother became too ill to take care of them. But after

her bro was killed, the household, which by now included their mom again, was evicted, forcing the four of them into an abandoned three-story house for two weeks. Darden remembers it as an adventure she wanted wouldn't end. Ultimately, they moved in with other relatives. Her grandma didn't reveal she was worried, so the kids didn't worry either, she said." I had whatever I required,"Darden said. "We were rich."Yet, she said she understood individuals looked down those who grew up in real estate projects. "We're ostracized, and we're put in this huge batch together,"she stated. "Everybody presumes that everyone is offering drugs. They don't try to find a Sherri to be living among the drug dealers."When Darden was a 17-year-old senior at Dobbins High School, she ended up being a typist

for the now-defunct Philadelphia Council of Neighborhood Organizations( PCNO), by the way in the very same building where she now runs Scoop. Ultimately, she left to work at the Defender Association of Philadelphia as a clerk-typist in 1989-- then as a single mom of a baby daughter.She worked there 29 years, 22 of them while likewise working nights as the newspaper's production supervisor. For many years, she and Driverdeveloped a father-daughter relationship: She called him Daddy and he called her Kid. When he died in December, she felt it was her obligation to take over, and for the first seven months, she stayed on

as personnels manager at the defender association. On June 22, she decided to focus exclusively on the newspaper.It hasn't been easy. Since buying Scoop, she's invested practically$12,000 a month of herownsavings to keep it going, and says she's going out. She does not draw a salary."I entered to this knowing it was a 50/50 shot, however I believe in exactly what I'm carrying out in keeping a black-owned paper going,"Darden stated." I was taking that step out on faith and I'm providing it all to God to give me the support I require to do this. "Now she must do whatever for the paper, from offering ads to attending Municipal government briefings."The point of going to those occasions is that I need to be visible,"she stated, "so that individuals will know that the paper is still around."Last week, for instance, she was at the Parkway to become aware of broadened activities at Eakins Oval. By the end of the week, she went to a press conference revealing Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity will have its grand meeting next summertime in Philadelphia.News about the Oval play area will expose low-income individuals to opportunities they may unknown about, she said.That lack of understanding" keeps us from understanding diversity and communicating with other groups, "she stated."It keeps us in our own silos."Edith Dixon, the longtime handling editor of Scoop and among Chauffeur's cousins, left after Darden could not pay for to pay her or Stephanie Turner, the previous workplace manager. Both females worked without pay in the first couple of months when Darden took over."She's got an uphill fight,"to sell marketing to keep the paper alive, Dixon said."It indicates pounding the pavement and going to the mother and pop stores.

You 'd better hit the pavement, and you 'd better strike it hard."Now, after setting out the paper on her computer system Wednesday nights, Darden drives to the

Southwest Philadelphia printing company Thursdays to select up bundles and drops them off in Chester and Camden. Others bundles are dispersed citywide.Keir Bradford-Grey, the primary lawyer at the Defender's Association, applauded Darden's work principles and called her "really brave" to leave a constant

job to try to keep the paper going."It's great that she has the ability to keep that neighborhood voice strong."At a time when papers are losing blood circulation and< a href =http://www.philly.com/philly/business/trump-commerce-paper-mill-newsprint-tariffs-20180612.html > newsprint costs are skyrocketing, Scoop exists in a market with two other black-owned newspapers-- Philadelphia Tribune and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun. Still, Darden doesn't see them as competition.Her 16-page tabloid, as soon as the source for where Lena Horne,

Count Basie, and Ray Charles were carrying out, backs no political prospects. On the front page these days, you may see a story about a peace march in Nicetown or the Sistas in Organisation Expo.And when columnists voice strong viewpoints, Darden positions a disclaimer:"

The remarks in the column are the viewpoint of the writer and the interviewee and are not an opinion or reflections of the beliefs of the SCOOP U.S.A."Both Thera Martin and Rev. William Rocky Brown 3rd have written forthe paper for 38 years. They are not paid, however have freedom to express strong viewpoints about neighborhood problems. And although Darden may not put crime news the front page, on July 13 writer Haru Sen Haru composed a piece titled,"Stop the violence." Darden has actually brand-new things prepared too: An updated site launches today-- presently, Scoop's online presence is simply digital archives of previous documents. Next comes an app.And a development corporation.She imagines it will be a separate entity from the newspaper and be moneyed through grants."There are numerous public interest groups throughout this city, however part of the reason we can't get to a point where we're seeing development, is because everyone is working on their own."

she stated, adding that Scoop Nonprofit Advancement Corp. will train individuals to be community developers.Over the years, Darden made a company degree from the University of Phoenix and a master's degree in human capital advancement at La Salle University. Along the method, she satisfied and wed Lyle Darden, a retired SEPTA authorities officer, now a sheriff's deputy. They have a 12-year-old daughter, and Darden's 29-year-old child will pursue a doctorate in psychiatric therapy." I have actually come complete circle,"Darden stated. July 26, 2018-- 1:49 PM EDT Community Guidelines Log In

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