Andrew is Co-Founder and Senior Advisor at Century Partners, where he assists the CEO on short, medium and long-term strategy. A filmmaker and a third-generation business founder, he maintains a generational commitment to progress for overlooked people, places, stories and opportunities.
Raised in Columbus, Mississippi, the child of a civil rights lawyer and a judge, Andrew had an early, front row seat to the structural inequalities crushing many Black families’ efforts for economic advancement. Spending his spare time shooting films on the family Panasonic camera, he dreamt of one day becoming a businessman and a filmmaker: understanding the importance of continuing in his parents and grandparents’ footsteps of forging opportunities for himself and others, but also wanting to give center stage to his community’s voice.
A writer by training, and one of the first students from his public high school to ever attend an Ivy League university, Andrew graduated from Columbia University in 2005 with a degree in English Literature and headed to New York University for graduate school where The New York Times awarded him a full, merit-based scholarship to pursue a Master of Fine Arts.
Andrew returned to his home state in 2009, where he laid the foundations for the actualization of both his childhood dreams. Among the films he wrote and directed over the course of his six years in Mississippi was ‘The Flight of Calvin Waters’, a short based on the real story of Billy Joe Johnson, a Black Mississippi high school football star, who was found dead in his car after being pulled over by a white sheriff’s deputy in George County, MS in 2008.
During this time, Andrew also took significant steps into the business world, building out his first two real estate companies, and going from a portfolio of five single family homes in one town to over 200 homes and apartment units across two counties. As he spearheaded these expansions, he oversaw all aspects of the growing businesses, from financing, renovations, sales and leasing to insurance, construction and asset management.
In 2014, after reading Arc of Justice about the inspiring and tragic stories of Ossian and Gladys Sweet, a Black doctor and his wife who bought a home in a white middle-class Detroit neighborhood in the 1920s, Andrew started planning a move north, to the Motor City. The Sweets’ story inspired Andrew to create a real estate company that could thrive even as it addressed historic injustices, and did right by the community it was based in. Andrew founded Century Partners on this basis with David Alade, an Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, incorporated brother and fellow Columbia University graduate.
In 2018 Andrew made his first Detroit short film, One Sweet Night,’ which told the story of the night the Ossian and Gladys Sweet family home was attacked by a White 1920’s mob. Andrew continues to pursue film and writing that center the voices and stories of Black communities even as he maintains an active role at Century Partners. In 2022, he founded Parable Pictures Entertainment with esteemed Nigerian-American film producer Melissa Adeyemo with a view to expanding into television.
In his spare time, catch him next to David supporting the Pistons front row, skiing down Michigan’s modestly steep slopes, or heading to the movies with his life partner Rose Hackman, a journalist and feminist author.