A Glimpse // The Journey.
What’s up All. My names David Andoh. I’m from Montreal, Quebec, by way of Ghana west Africa.
My parents were born in Ghana.
No, I don’t speak French.
My family moved to the United States when I was super young. Gaithersburg, Maryland is where we went first. At this point it was my parents - Charles and Elizabeth - and my older brother Enoch. We hung out in Maryland for a while before moving to Cottonwood, Arizona. This city was 13 sq. miles in total.
A few years later, we made the trip up to Tucson, Arizona. We lived here for a few years. One day, at the start of seventh grade, I got pulled out of class via the loud speaker and was told to report to the principal’s office with all of my belongings.
I was being pulled out of school by my dad. Without explanation, we drove home. In my driveway was U-Haul truck – fueled and loaded.
About an hour later we started the trip up to San Jose California. I didn’t get to say goodbye to any friends, they were still at school.
I couldn’t tell you how long that drive was.
I did seventh and eighth grade at Herman intermediate school in San Jose, California. Freshman year of high school at ArchBishop Mitty Highschool (where Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon went // I grew up with the kid). Sophomore year, I got in some trouble and transferred to the local public school. ‘08 hit right before Christmas and I was no longer living with my parents. Junior year I spent with Houston Rockets point guard Isaiah Taylor in Berkeley, California at St. Mary’s College High school. Senior year, my folks went back up to Canada, and I went to IMG Academies in Bradenton, Florida. Look it up.
More of the story to come.
Questions? Details? Just hit me up, I’m everywhere.
Santa Teresa Highschool
St. Mary’s College Highschool
Execution // Brotherly Love
I’m really in a great place these days. Not because of anything I’ve done, but because I just see so much growth and execution being done here on campus. The biggest push I see, is the social media and marketing stride.
The whole campus is intertwined as hell. In every room that I walk into, I see social icons directing people to follow “here” or like there. It’s beautiful. It’s the start of my third year on this campus and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like this place was so divided. Not anymore.
I know social media isn’t the end product, but it’s the fact that people are making things happen – they have something to show for. That’s what I like. The Umin building is one example. A lot of people don’t understand its purpose and that’s students and faculty alike. I’ve heard pretty important people talk about how the school doesn’t know how to allocate their money, or how they just blow through it trying to push selfish agendas. No personal comment here, but I will say that at least they’re doing…. Something.
University ministries is great. I sit in those conference rooms and do my work all of the time. The space is open and just overall aesthetically pleasing. The people too, they’re amazing. So many times, I been minding my business and had university personnel just approach me and indulge in the most random but engaging conversation. That’s what it is about – that kind of kinship. With no effort, I’ve built some of the best relationships on this campus.
Lately, I’ve become very fond of the friars and brothers. That’s a stretch for me because prior to this year, they were just distant beings. Now I sit and chop it up with them about anything and everything.
Father Fran, Father Ross, Fr Blake – I don’t know any of you well, but you’re are my guys. And I’m speaking for many more people than just myself. There are many more people on this campus who are holding it down, but you three are just a few who brighten my day and equal a decent exposure -- for all my photographer’s out there.
My Life // "Loss" Vegas.
Growing up, I was very fortunate in a sense that basketball showed me a lot. For example – and I’ll never forget this, but, I was in seventh grade. I went to home room, my dad picked me up midway through. we drove about 45 minutes to the airport, and a boarded a plane to Los Angeles. I got picked up by a car in LA, grabbed some chicken and waffles, and headed to the gym. I played in a LA select all-star game, got food, headed to the airport and returned to school. I went to my last period class.
This is the life I lived for a very long time. As things evolved, there were mid-week trips to LA, San Diego, and even Las Vegas. I actually spent a lot of time in sin city in my day. At first, it was for my older brother – I was merely there for support. a few years later, it was my turn. Vegas was a regular thing. I probably was in Vegas four or five times a year, highlighted by the big Fab 48 nationally recognized tournament at the end of July. My team, my coach, yea he ran it. We were a big deal.
I say all of that to say this:
How the hell is this shit going on? I woke up at 2 am to a fucking notification from twitter about 50 plus people being dead. I went back to sleep because I swore I was dreaming. Nope.
6:15 am and I’m in the Richter Center weight room at St. Bonaventure University and I see someone watching a video about the tragedy.
I tuned into my pocket-sized Tv or iphone whatever you prefer, and felt like I was right back on the Las Vegas strip running in and out of the Circus Circus Hotel.
At this moment, 50 dead, 212 injured. WHAT THE FUCK.
Story unfolds and I am even more dumb found. This shit has got to stop. And no, I won’t put the blame on the dude who shot the spot up. For me, its way bigger and the burden falls on the people whose sole fuckin' job is to give people an outlet for their worry. Where were they? How do the people close to him not notice a change in behavior? A change period? Yes, he did wrong, a lot of it, but he’s not the only one. As a collective, we just have to start paying fucking attention and helping each other no matter how much of an inconvenience it might pose to our selfish personal agendas.
Oscar is a Boston-based street photographer who has a story to tell. Peep this.
Conversations with You.
Growing up has been so interesting. I'm so glad that we are talking more.
Standing in Line.
There’s one day that I’ll never forget. I was standing in line in the RC café on St. Bonaventure University’s campus waiting for my chicken sandwich. A little girl, maybe six years old, approached me. She was caucasian.
She stood, about four feet tall, waddling towards me – until she stopped abruptly a few feet from where I was.
I’m six-foot seven and proud. I remained in such posture as I crouched down, open-armed and ready to embrace this beautiful child.
“He’s black!” she said. “Mommy, he’s black!” As the little girl pointed up at me.My mind flustered, I looked up at who I assumed to be her mother. As our eyes connected effortlessly, I received a blank stare in exchange for my expression of belittlement. She said nothing. She walked towards the engagement, grabbed the little girl by her arm and walked in the opposite direction. At that moment I was taken back; back to a time when such social disconnect was as common as could be. I thought we were past those times. Are we? What do you all think?
- David Andoh
With basketball season right around the corner, check out my most recent experience with college basketball:
My experience at the 2017 NCAA March Madness second round of games was overall, pretty good. The Wisconsin Badgers and the Villanova Wildcats both battled their hearts out and that was dope to see. Shout out to both of those teams.
I was sitting in the Villanova player guest section — courtesy of a friend of a friend. Suspended in time, I sat annoyed by the nonsense of entertainment meant to fill the void between the two halves of basketball.The second half started with a score of 31-27, in favor of the kids from Madison. During a pair of free throws, while the adamant Villanova fans stood praising, a few of my teammates and I sat largely, in frustration.
I shifted my body forward in motion. I adjusted the weight of my elbow onto my right knee to hold the burden of my thoughts afloat. I thought to myself, “it’s only a pair of foul shots. Sit down, it’s not that exciting.”
“Just come on with the game!”, uttered teammate Courtney Stockard.
Frantically, the woman most north-west of me turned around to confirm the voices of four black men that she knew she was hearing. She even took it as far as taking a peak, to admire the visual. She did, and instantly she connected with a pair of eyes trying to internalize the connotation behind her harsh and frightened movements. She then snatched the likes of her wallet out of her seat below her. We made intense eye contact once more, before she returned her focus back to the game. All of this, as she sighed in relief that her most valuable identity was safe and sound, mounted underneath her arms.
The game goes on to end full of suspense. Again, shout out to both teams. You have all accomplished something that I have dreamed of forever. To Wisconsin, good luck as you advance.
The woman turned around to gather her keys and coat, and probably her thoughts.
I usually let things go pretty easily because I try to avoid unnecessary confrontation. This time however, it mattered. I just couldn’t neglect what I would eventually coin, her ignorance.
We made eye contact.
“You didn’t have to do that.”, I said. We started going back and forth, respectfully.
Her pleas of innocence began with, “Do what?”
I tried to believe her as I explained her racist gesture. Maybe it was an “accident?” I thought. Maybe she “didn’t mean to?” Her confidence in her story was slowly reducing as the exchange continued and her voice got raspy. She kept going, talking and elaborating on her explanation as if I wasn’t there. She claimed, “I had my purse in my hand the whole game. I’m not a Racist.” “No, you didnt.” I said.
I followed up with mentioning that this is an opportunity to celebrate the ideal that we are even having this conversation. How impressive is that? I said to her that, “often times, things like this happen but are ignored in exchange for entertainment or other senseless constructs.” She stood flustered.
“It’s progress, it’s growth. It’s independence for both sides. Have a nice day!” Words I spoke as I stood up to gather my belongings.
I thought to myself, it’s a shame how too frequently these things happen. But at least we talked about it. At least we addressed it and brought awareness to it by making it a thing.
- David Andoh
The experience of putting this website together has been unbelievable. First of all, I have not slept more than 4 hours in the last week. There has been so much going on with my girlfriend Nicole, my family, and building my company. In the midst of it all, I was able to hop on a call with my friend Shane and talk about the process. For those of you who don't know, Shane is an adjunct professor at SBU.
Anyways, we were taking about a bunch of stuff. He was explaining the importance of staying narrow and staying fearful of too much horizontal growth -- just entrepreneur stuff.
It ended up being exactly what I needed to hear. He ended up sending me over some software and I got to work.
Let's just say that a lot got done in those following hours.
- David Andoh