A Father’s Love Vol. 3: Pharoh and Clifford

Well, most of my closest people know that my partner, my Bean-town buddy, my boy! РRoh! (as we affectionately called him) has transitioned into another life.  (That means he died).  After nearly 14 years, 6 cities, 3 cars, 2 schools, and about 7 or 8 residences together, I am now without my dog, Pharoh Kareem.  He had been sick for quite a while now, but just kept bouncing back, ultimately giving me a false safety net that would eventually break.

As painful as it was to see him¬† go, I was equally relieved, because I know there wasn’t much that I could do for him anymore.¬† I had to carry him down the stairs to go outside; he would barely eat and had a terrible cough.

One of the most interesting things about his passing is, that Saturday eveing after work, I rushed home from Guitar Center to pack my drums for a show at the Myxx in Cleveland Heights.¬† I peaked in the door to see ‘Roh and he looked terrible.¬†¬† He looked dazed and was breathing hard.¬† I reluctantly thought, “Oh no”.¬† So, I rushed to pack my drums so that I could check on him.¬† Within less than 10 minutes of loading time, I returned to find him dead on the kitchen floor.

THAT was some painful stuff.

Now let’s be real, I loved that pig (bad varsity Blues joke), but he would sometimes get on my last nerve!¬† But, maturity set in for both us and towards the end, ‘Roh and I would sort of look over at each other and make a calm gesture, whatever it might be at the time.

I really began to see something different when Kali really got know him over the past year.¬† She would come into the kitchen and just sit on the floor with him.¬† In retrospect, I think that I was missing the signs that the end was closer than I knew.¬† In fact, after he passed I went into a mode of hurt and devestation knowing that a) I saw the sign but didn’t jump and give him that last bath (a real bonding act for us), put the sweater on him that I had bought for him¬† few weeks prior, or the hardest part, to hear Kali ask about him.¬† That, above anything else, caused the tears to fall.

After A.R. (after ‘Roh) soon became the prime opportunity for a certain 4 year old to ask for a puppy.¬† Long story short?¬† We got 2 fish.¬†¬†One for my place, one for her mom’s¬†– Emily Elizabeth and Clifford (characters from¬†Clifford the Big Red Dog.


What it means to be a Griot…

Sometimes you do things because it just feels right, or you may feel some type of pressure.  But sometimes, you have to admit when things are simply divine.

I am a Griot who speaks through rhythm, the Ngoma, the drum.  I am immensely proud to be a Griot.  It is a way of life, a means of growth and confidence.  Trust me when I say, becoming an activist and moving into a conscious mind-state will change everything!  There will be so many internal struggles and external tirades.  You will no longer settle for the BS.  You will ease into a comfort zone with your natural self.  You will seek, and find, those of like mind and ability; there is absolute strength in numbers.

To find yourself… it is, by far, the most liberating, expanding, enlightening experience that you can ever have in life.¬† Learning of my inherent duty as a Griot for the Diaspora, sent by God and reinforced by my ancestors to serve as a voice for the meek and one who uplifts humanity in its most pure form grounds me. ¬†Please listen, open your hearts and minds.¬† “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”

Shout out to my fellow griots of the world!

…to the Warriors …to the Griot Project … to Umojah Nation …to my family and friends.


I come to you in the spirit of the Adinkra symbol Akofena, the swords of war

Рrepresenting courage, valor, and heroism.     Quick Adinkra reference here.