Author, speaker, poet and doer-of-Good Sharieff Clayton is gone, but not forgotten. He intended to be alive right now and had everything to live for; a beautiful family, career, two completed novels, a clothing line he co-owned, and a new web series underway.
Since his untimely passing on April 27th at the hands of unknown gunmen outside of a funeral parlor in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, Clayton’s killer remains at large.
Clayton’s life was taken by someone who was nursing a 20-year grudge, reportedly.
Clayton got mixed up in the streets (like many young men of his generation) while growing up in East New York during the unbridled crime era of the ‘80s, which resulted in a 15-year prison sentence for manslaughter and robbery. He was paroled in 2007, at which time he immediately secured an Advertising position at The Source magazine, managed Saigon [Abandoned Nation], and began working as a Program Coordinator at the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES), where he participated in gang identification, deterrence and engagement of gang‐involved youth. He also worked in partnership with the NY Division of Parole conducting student training sessions throughout the NYC Department of Education Schools in efforts to steer students off the path of incarceration.
Also in 2007, Clayton published his debut novel, Honor Amongst Thieves, which was a work in progress while behind bars and released through Barnes and Nobles and Borders, among other stores, and which has provided compelling insight into the culture of urban life and mores. Said Clayton, “It’s a responsible story with twists, turns, valleys and peaks and ultimately – redemption.”
For six years Clayton worked on the sequel to his book, Center of Gravity, which is slated for release this September through his company, Amenta Publications.
Additionally, Clayton helped launch urban clothing line, Morerall, in 2012:
Morerall encourages self-discipline by being a symbolic reminder that the true battle lies within. Not Since FUBU has there been an urban clothing brand with a message of discipline and hope for its community. – Morerall.com
One of the best ways to honor someone who has passed is to visit their life’s work. Completing Center of Gravity was a goal Clayton set many years ago and finally accomplished just a week shy of his death.
A Go Fund Me account was established to ensure that Clayton’s book is published in September as he intended.
A life cut short is tragic, but in Clayton’s own words:
Death was a concept of the defeated and not the victorious. For the victorious, death was just the moment when the baton was passed to the next warrior, entrusted with the sacred duty to uphold the laws of identity and purpose.
-A. C. Clayton
While Clayton’s killer remains a mystery to law enforcement, there’s no doubt that justice will prevail. Eventually.
Hana & Associates Public Relations had the honor of working with Clayton on his first book in 2007. It was during this time that it became quite apparent that Sharieff Clayton was a truly unique and extraordinary individual, who like everybody – had shortcomings, and was passionate about conquering them. It was this quality that exemplified the “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” phrase. His compassion for humanity was contagious and he will always be remembered for working with people for the collective good.
While his loss is felt, Sharieff Clayton continues to exist in the timeless, universal messages of his writings, in the faces of his children and in the memories of those who loved him. There’s no doubt that he has also found the peace that he deserves.
Rest in Power Sharieff Clayton 1974-2015, and beyond.