Endia World

By Sharon Holmes

pharooSomething amazing happened on the South Side of Chicago last Saturday, Aug. 9.

Two young men decided to throw a party. This was no ordinary party; this was a party organized by friends of 14-year-old Endia Martin who refuse to let her life be just another sad statistic of the gun violence that is permeating Chicago.

They decided to come together through an “EndiaWorld FeFe” – basically a remembering party.

While African-American males are derided for being quick to respond to violence with violence, these young men specifically stated, “Just come out and show respect again for Endia. Turn up the right way.”

They decided to honor and mourn their friend peacefully and asked everyone else to respect that.

The site of the party was a park with a basketball court and a huge open field.  Although it was supposed to start at 7, very few people were there, but there was a heavy police presence.

Boys on the court played ball and ignored the police who slowly rode by every 10 minutes or so. Even when the police drove their patrol cars on the field and illuminated the court, the boys played on without looking their way.

The boys who were not playing flirted awkwardly with the girls who lined the court waiting for the party to start.

As the clock pushed toward 8 p.m., more people started arriving, most of them teenagers; a lot of them had on T-shirts or sweaters emblazoned with Endia’s pictures.

Because purple was Endia’s favorite color, it was featured prominently on many of the shirts that declared “EndiaWorld,” “EndiaGang” or “Long Live Tiny” (Tiny was one of Endia’s nicknames).

_MG_7397(1)(Photo by Krista Wortendyke)

Even as more people arrived, the mood of the crowd never changed. These kids just wanted to have a peaceful night and remember their friend.

There were no fights; there were no arguments; there was no disrespect. There was an overwhelming sense that everyone was on their best behavior because not to be would be a direct insult to Endia’s memory.

Something amazing happened on the South Side of Chicago last Saturday.  Two young men proved that 100 black kids can come together with no adult supervision and not a single bullet ring out or a single punch be thrown.

Two young men proved that violence does not have to be answered with violence.  Two young men proved that Chicago is not “Chiraq.”

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27 Comments

  1. Lindsey

    August 13, 2014 at 2:41 am

    Awesome. So refreshing to hear the positivity amongst the horror I hear in the news each day in this city. Love it!

    Reply

  2. Lindsey

    August 13, 2014 at 2:41 am

    Awesome. So refreshing to hear the positivity amongst the horror I hear in the news each day in this city. Love it!

    Reply

  3. Mindy

    August 19, 2014 at 12:17 am

    What an amazing story. every week i hear about how Endia has touched the lives of so many and how everyone is coping and growing and reacting. the ripple effects are so profound. on one hand there is this tiredness and despair, but on the other, people are mobilized to create change, real change. By creating change, you are honoring her memory and her life. i love the keywords to this story too.

    Reply

  4. Mindy

    August 19, 2014 at 12:17 am

    What an amazing story. every week i hear about how Endia has touched the lives of so many and how everyone is coping and growing and reacting. the ripple effects are so profound. on one hand there is this tiredness and despair, but on the other, people are mobilized to create change, real change. By creating change, you are honoring her memory and her life. i love the keywords to this story too.

    Reply

  5. Looking Back | Tilden's America

    August 29, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    […] Well, to being honest with you, I felt like my summer started off bad because of my friend Endia’s death. […]

    Reply

  6. Looking Back | Tilden's America

    August 29, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    […] Well, to being honest with you, I felt like my summer started off bad because of my friend Endia’s death. […]

    Reply

  7. […] spent most of his summer in Kansas City. After returning to Chicago, he attended a FeFe at 52nd and Lowe for his friend Endia Martin, who was shot to death in April. Here’s the […]

    Reply

  8. […] spent most of his summer in Kansas City. After returning to Chicago, he attended a FeFe at 52nd and Lowe for his friend Endia Martin, who was shot to death in April. Here’s the […]

    Reply

  9. Sara E

    January 30, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    I think its really awesome how all those kids came together to honor and respect Endia. Its really good to show people that with all those kids coming together no violence came out of it. It wasnt about that it was about her.

    Reply

    • Taylor M

      February 18, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      i totally agree with the comment you just made. That was so true, everyone got together to remember Endia which was a very nice thing because this wasn’t just an ordinary party, it was one to remember her.

      Reply

  10. Mr. Scott

    January 30, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Such a positive message and mature response by these young men and women to do this. Awesome story, Sharon.

    Reply

  11. Matthew

    February 18, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    What an amazing thing that people do. Very sad story of Endia but it’s heartwarming that people come together to mourn.

    Reply

  12. Andrew

    February 18, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    This was a really amazing event to honor Endia and it shows that anyone can come together and have fun without violence in Chicago.

    Reply

  13. Rory

    February 18, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    I think that the message in this story is very powerful. Violence shouldn’t be solved by more violence, throwing a party in her honor was a great idea.

    Reply

  14. Emily

    February 18, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    I think this shows such a positive message, that just beacause there is a group of teenagers, does not mean there is going to be a fight. Fighting dosent fix anything. This sends the right message to police officers and people all around the Chicago areas.

    Reply

  15. Etienne N

    February 18, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    I’m so glad that you guys can come together with no adult supervision and have a great time with each other. It’s also great that there was no violence and you guys all enjoyed yourselves.

    Reply

  16. Kate D

    February 18, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    I think that it is amazing that so many people came together to show nothing but respect. It is truly amazing that you can show people that they can be wrong to assume outcomes.

    Reply

  17. Claire G.

    February 18, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    After reading this story, it is nice to see that people are taking this death and turning it into something that will change the future and the way people act. Taking Endia’s death and making the mourning event into a more positive, respectful event was a very good learning opportunity for others and specifically young teens.

    Reply

  18. Andrew

    February 18, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this and really like how everyone is honoring Endia and proving that people in Chicago can come together without violence and can have a good and peaceful time.

    Reply

    • Pepper

      March 11, 2017 at 7:01 am

      Hats off to wheover wrote this up and posted it.

      Reply

  19. Alex

    February 18, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    Wow. This sounds like an inspiring and unforgettable experience. It shows a lot to me about human character. Thanks for sharing this.

    Reply

  20. Daria

    February 18, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    People these days judge African Americans, thinking they are the ones that do drugs and all these bad stuff. Wow this just showed the opposite of that judgement. Great way to have a party to respect for Endia!But also showing everyone there was no violence, that’s great!

    Reply

  21. Giselle

    February 18, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    I think it’s inspiring how these two young men were able to prove to society that violence is not always the answer. Thanks Sharon for these inspiring words!

    Reply

  22. Brad

    February 19, 2015 at 1:16 am

    I think its great that everyone got together for a good time, and for a good reason too.

    Reply

  23. Amanda

    February 19, 2015 at 3:12 am

    This is so amazing! I love how you all got together to support your friend. Stay strong!

    Reply

  24. Clint W

    February 19, 2015 at 3:21 am

    So great a community can come together and remember a friend, with no violence and just peace and love.

    Reply

  25. Kevin D

    February 19, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    So cool how two people can have such a positive impact on a community like south Chicago but that’s what it takes to change community’s.

    Reply

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