Trying to do something about all these killings

root - Posted on 22 April 2009

The Story of the One Life Walk

by Marlon Crump/PNN

"Mama, why is no one doing anything about these killings?" asked 16 year old Takeyah Chandlier to her mom, Asale (Sala)-Haquekyah Chandlier.

Asale (Sala)-Haquekyah Chandlier looked up at her daughter as if she was witnessing the earth unfold, and vowed to her, "Baby, you will NEVER have to EVER ask me that question again. From this day forward, I will do something about these killings!"

Back in June of this year, a 15 year old kid was murdered in front of the Philip and Sala Burton High School in San Francisco, CA in broad daylight. Devastated and distraught that the killings have failed to come to a screeching halt here in San Francisco (especially in S.F neighborhoods with young men of color), Takeyah came home to her mom in tears, and cried on her chest.

The body count surrounding young men of color, as well as all young men in general in this country and (worldwide) is a plague that has become even more fatal than the AIDS virus, itself. Asale (Sala)-Haquekyah Chandlier decided to implement a vaccine to the violence that forever infects the youth, using them as its host.

Sala decided to formulate the ONE LIFE WALK.

One Life Walk is a marathon movement of communities of color to unify, and eliminate the rapid violence and homicides San Francisco, CA. It is anticipated to grow into a mass non-violent movement, and inspired by the works from the likes of Ghandi’s lead in India, King lead in the Civil Rights Movement, and many people, everywhere continue to do every year on the AIDS Walk.

"One Life Walk" is featured on Sala's radio talk show "The Real Life Mermaed."

"We have only ONE life to live." Sala would later exclaim to me during an interview." It is our responsibility to live this "One Life Walk" healthy, sane, calm, cool, and collective without embracing the violent thoughts of hurting someone else to a point of death!"

Asale (Sala)-Haquekyah Chandlier attended POOR’s monthly Community Newsroom, on December 2nd, 2008. This particular meeting was unlike any other in POOR's history, due to the significant transition that was going to be a tearful reality. All of us, staff/family of POOR Magazine/POOR News Network was being forced to move from its headquarters of the Grant Building, and all of us were going to be reminiscent of what the office space meant for them in the past.

As we all traded moments of sorrows, war stories, and solace of the office space's memories; the spirit of the late great poverty hero, "Mama" Dee Gray-Garcia (co-founder of POOR) blanketed our soul with her eternal eldership in easing the pain that plagued our reluctant hearts from having to depart from what was now the past. Her spirit silently carried our own into re-porting and su-pporting for others in another space in the future.

Sala expressed her feelings and her memories of what the space meant to her in the past, as well.

Over a week later, I conducted an interview of Sala regarding the "One Life Walk" at the San Francisco Main Public Library, in the lower level which had a cafe. Despite her encountering numerous difficulties of long traffic delays, battery death in her cell phone, and keeping track of her car's parking meter during the interview; Sala still managed to arrive and meet me. She was determined in getting "One Life Walk" out into the world.

After we both managed to drown out the sounds around us, of high heels, distinct conversations by nearby patrons, and the slight windy brushes by passer bys, the interview got underway.

I looked into the dark ocean-like eyes of Sala and concluded that this, alongside of her caramel-complexioned features, and easy smile could've easily convinced someone that she did have qualities of a mermaid 20,000 leagues under the sea, or a "Real Life Mermaed" fighting to end the endless deaths on the streets.

”Two Amazon women bad to the bone!" Sala said excitedly to me and in reference to Yolanda Banks Reed, a friend of Sala and comrade of hers in the movement. "We're talking about two justice fighters representing and fighting for equality for all, meaning giving justice where justice is due!"

"The One Life Walk is an expression of the 50s and 60s where people came together for anything that had to do with injustice." Yolanda Banks would later state to me. She also explained that there was a lack of unities in the communities of color towards combating the issues that were negatively impacting them, daily.

Sala told me that she considered herself as a "character." She referenced her qualities similarities to some of her favorite fictional characters, such as, Batgirl, Wonder Woman, Cleopatra Jones, and real life people that were her inspiration, Christie Love, Angela Davis, and Johnnie Mae Gibson who was the first African-American F.B.I Agent, Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Elizabeth (Embeth) Chambers Ranch, and her very own mother, Dorothy Davis were her life's inspiration.

Asale (Sala)-Haquekyah Chandlier was born in Chicago, IL. At age 4, she was taught by the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense on how to read. After she became grown, Asale moved to the southside of Los Angeles, CA to start her activism against the degradation of women.

The typical derogatory slurs of "bitches, sluts, tramps, and whores" yelled by young men have often fueled Sala's anger towards their damaging degradation to the reputation of young women, on a daily basis.

"I began becoming concerned about humanity issues." Sala said. "I began my work by feeding the homeless in Downtown L.A (Los Angeles) "Skid Row." I found myself concerned about what each individual had to offer within themselves from their own mother's wombs."

In 2006, Sala (and other community members) of the Bayview Hunter's Point District unsuccessfully ran for the Board of Supervisors seat of District 10 against the current incumbent, Sophie Maxwell.

"Creativity has the ability to fill our children's lives with possibilities." Sala said, in her motivational address of youth empowerment, while she and other candidates were collectively interviewed by every at POOR.

"One Life Walk" is ABOUT and COMMITTING to life." Sala explained. "It is about putting a 9-1-1 urgency on the ongoing massacres, commonly called "homicides" of our minority children, especially African-American children here in San Francisco."

"We are here to tear down the violent death thought by wearing the thought pattern of committing to life. The commonly called "African-American" people and the fabric of their foundation are built on a lie. They're not spiritually fed, but only given religion."

Sala presented a detailed explanation of what her whole definitive analogy of what religion meant to her. "Religion is only an outside deity. For example, God he, Allah he, Jesus he, the Father he, the Son he, the Devil he, and the Angel he. None of these outside gods are from within giving all credit to the patriarchal thought pattern which is based on the fatherhood doctrine which has nothing to do with the inner life."

She also is a firm believer that men are not the superior being over the women. "The Creator Eloheem (“Eloheem” is defined as “God” in Hebrew.) has given the women the divine position to be the carrier of life." Sala explained. "If these truths are not told, women will continue to give up their divine birthright. By these common sayings that the man is head of the household and the only connection to God (Eloheem) is the greatest lie ever told on Planet Earth. It is the downfall of the whole wide world.”

"If men and women don't rise to teach their children of who they really are, as boys and girls, as women and men, as husbands and wives; we will never be able to rise in humanity giving justice where justice is due and giving equality where equality is due."

I continued to listen to Sala interesting analysis of religion and thought about this more thoroughly after the interview. The question as it seemed was intended to raise awareness of how much time is spent by a human being towards studying themselves, as opposed to studying the above said gods she stated above?

The interview became even more emotional for Sala, as she further discussed for the urgent need for more community involvement to silence the violence, and the massacres (homicides as defined by corporate media) of the youths in communities of color among themselves.

Sala expressed her disgust towards the City of San Francisco's failure to end the violence and homicides (massacres) among the youth. "The children are not seeing what is really happening, tangibly."

After the unfortunate death of the young man at Philip and Sala High School, and the emotional breakdown by her daughter Takeyah; Sala felt that a higher power was calling her to do something about the violence.

"One day I awoke at 10:a.m. I woke up my daughter and said, "Get up and let's go for a walk. Takeyah got up, got dressed, and we started to walk up Latona St. While walking up Latona, we made a left turn on Bayview St. (in the Bayview Hunter's Point)."

Sala then asked her daughter, "Would you walk for your friends that have died?"

Takeyah was silent.

" I said would you walk for your friends that have died, Takeyah?" Sala asked her, with a bit of an edge in her tone of voice, and bearing a fiery blaze in her pupils. Takeyah looked upwards at her mother.

"Yes mama!" was her daughter's response.

You can meet the "Real Life Mermaed" live at "Metaphormous" on Sunday January 11th, 2009 at 5:30 p.m on 111 Minna St South of Market. (SoMa) This is also a fundraiser for youth and families. This event is aimed at raising $5,000 for the family of Elizabeth Chambers Ranch. The fee is $10.00 at the door and the contact phone# is (415) 756-5378. One Life Walk phone# is (415) 287-7481.


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