In 1977, while Dr. Alice Green was working at what was then called Trinity Institution, she saw a need for a community newspaper. In the editorial section of The South End Scene's first issue in November 1977,she wrote:
Today, in a complex world, the communication of information is of paramount importance., We find that there are more laws, rules, programs, new words, philosophies, etc., than most of us can handle. But, they all affect the kinds of lives we lead. We want to make sure all people are informed as well as possible in order to be equipped to make good decisions that will affect the quality of their lives.
Therefore, this newspaper of the inner city is dedicated to transmitting the factual information and serving as a vehicle for communicating thoughts and ideas to and from its people."
Over the years, The South End Scene went through many transformations, including expanding to include Albany's other underrepresented neighborhoods: Arbor Hill and West Hill. In November 1991, the paper produced its final issue as The Scene. It was one the longest running independent Black newspapers in Albany.
Press the Play button above and fast forward to 15:22 to hear Dr. Alice Green and Mia Nilo discuss the history of the newspaper, and how this new version came to be.
The Scene Today
In October 2018, the Albany Public Library's Literary Legends Gala was celebrating the work and careers of Dr. Frankie Bailey and Dr. Alice Green. Featured prominently were reproductions and selections of The South End Scene. It was then that people in the community began to talk about bringing back The Scene.
Soon after, the Albany chapter of the NAACP approached the Howe Branch to help them identify an intergenerational project that would create a neighborhood resource in order to take advantage of a Spectrum Grant. Using the grant to reboot the South End's historic newspaper was an easy sell. The Center for Law and Justice, a grassroots nonprofit created by Dr. Green, was also engaged, linking the new project to the publication that inspired it.
In early 2019, the pilot program was announced and The New Scene began to take shape. This new publication is meant to honor and pay homage to the spirit of The Scene. It will be primarily an online publication, featuring not just articles but different mixed media as well. Periodically the online publication will also be produced in print in order to reach those with limited access to technology or the internet. The new publication will serve the same need the original Scene did: aggregating community knowledge, events, resources, and talents into a readily accessible publication that is created by people in the community and published for people in the community.