Samaad and his best friends/brothers call themselves “The Family.” The members are Omar, Syed, Terrod, Davon, Elijah, Davay, Obrian, Tyree, Dominic, Tayo, Quincy, and Danny. They are a group of young men who come from different nationalities, have different personalities, and each contribute something different to their friendship/family bond.
I was so intrigued with their love, loyalty and support of one another I decided to write about them to learn more about how they met, what makes them click, and why they are different than a gang. Since losing Samaad to gun violence I began to research gangs and gang violence, youth on youth gun violence and why do our young black men turn to violence to answer problems that could be solved in a more positive way.
1. How did you all meet and when?
Quincy-I met all my brothers at a different point in my life, some I grew up with and others I met a few years ago but regardless of how or when I love them all the same.
Danny-We all met at different times but it was during our high school years. Some knew others before others. But my senior year is when we all started getting closer and closer.
Davay-I first met Quincy, Omar and Tyree in elementary school. From there I met Tayo, Dom, Terrod and Obrian in middle school. Than I got to know Syed, Samaad, Danny, and Davon in high school.
2. How did you end up calling yourselves “The Family?”
Quincy-Honestly I don’t even know I think that was Tyree’s idea.
Danny-The name “The Family” came within the group’s hand symbol 🖐🏾 which means family.
Davay-The Family came about when Tyree used to sing a Lil Durk song called “Make It Out” and in the beginning it says “If I call you my brother that means you’re my brother, nothing more, nothing less. Family” Tyree would say that all of our senior year of high school. Then from there people would see our signature 🖐🏽 hand emoji and black hearts and people would call us the 5.
3. How did you decide who would be added to the group?
Quincy-It really just happens naturally we all hang out together and it just became something more than a friend group.
Danny-When the group was first made, excluding me and Davon, it was a close friend & they ended up making a name for it. Over time Davon & I started hanging around the group more and more and eventually they took us in.
Davay-The “decision” to see who was in our group or not wasn’t really a decision, it’s really who we are around the most, and who we talk to the most and the people we are with now are the people we are with all the time. The only thing that changed was the name of our group.
4. How did you come up with your signature handshake?
Quincy-Someone came up with it within the group and we all just decided to use it.
Danny-The handshake was already made at the time they took me in. They showed me it once I was taken in and I’ve been doing It ever since.
Davay– Our first handshake came from a history of handshakes that we made since middle school than our most recent one was changed October of 2018. And it was made to be more simple than our previous handshakes.
5. What makes up your family bond?
Quincy-Our bond comes from everything we have in common, we all enjoy lots of the same things and we form individual bonds with each other.
Danny-The natural enjoyment. There’s never a dull moment when we are together and that’s what makes the bond so strong. We treat each other like blood.
Davay– Our bond mostly is made up of how much we have in common also what we don’t have in common, and how easy it is for us to bounce off ideas, jokes and other things off of each other so effortlessly. Not a lot of people can stay this strong and in this large of a group for so long.
6. Each one of you has something special about you, what makes you unique to “The Family?”
Quincy-We all share a lot in common like our sense of humor, but I feel like I have a different level of responsibility.
Danny-One special thing about me is I’m really good with gaming & video editing. I have to resume my work in both of these. These are my favorite hobbies.
Davay-One thing that’s unique about me is my ability to reach through to our fans and followers and get the message across to people through our social media. After Samaad’s passing I ran the social media account posting memories and keeping peoples spirits up and we gained 300-400 followers and gained thousands of likes and views from the content. I also bring a creative mind and outlook to the group
7. What do you love about each other?
Quincy-I love the bond we have and the sense of humor we share.
Danny– I love how everybody is accepted and everybody could be their own character. We want nothing but the best for each other and are stay on stop of each other.
Davay-I love how easy it is for us to bond with each other. How us just being together is so much fun and how many laughs come from that. And how much we can influence the crowd. I haven’t seen anyone with this much influence on a town before.
8. What can’t you stand about each other?
Quincy-These guys are hardheaded.
Davay– I don’t like how we sometimes can go a long time without speaking to each other or checking up on each other.
9. What makes you different than a “gang?”
Quincy-We’re just a group of friends that does things together.
Danny-We don’t need to engage in criminal activities or do any gang like things for anyone to be accepted. It’s a natural brotherhood. We just like to have fun.
Davay-What makes us different from a gang is everything. Most of us grew up around the gang life whether it would be our location or family members or friends, we don’t want to hurt anyone or do anything negative our goal is to just influence as many people as possible.
10. I love that you all show so much love to each other. Tell me more about that?
Quincy-These are my guys. I do everything with them, I bond with each of them differently over different things.
Danny-The love is real genuine. We treat each other like blood and make sure everybody is doing good. We want nothing but the best for each other.
Davay-Showing love to one another just comes from how much we mean to each other and how much of a roll each person plays. Also so much time has been put into each relationship, we won’t let it go to waste because it is so rare to be this far along in college and have such a friendship.
11. How did you meet Samaad?
Quincy-Samaad was in my English class freshman year but we became close junior year when we were on the same basketball team.
Danny-I met Samaad my senior year of high school. I always knew of him but we never really talked. One day we were in the same chat on the game and started talking and that’s how the friendship kicked off. We started playing the game more and more, started going out and kicking it more. Ended up becoming real close to him.
Davay– I met Samaad in 9th grade but didn’t get to know him until my senior year. In the short 2 years of knowing him I spoke to him everyday and became his brother.
12. I see how Samaad has touched each and everyone of you. Tell me more about that?
Quincy-We have so many great memories together, it’s just something about his character that really touched me. His heart was so pure and his loyalty was unmatched.
Danny-Samaad has left his impact on me in numerous ways. He was the type of person to push you to your fullest potential. He always wanted to see you do good. Always showed love to his friends. He was that type of person you needed around. Somebody you cherished. He was a chill, leaned back individual. The type of people I keep around.
Davay-Samaad made me realize that you should never let anyone or anything put fear in you. Samaad always fought and argued for what he loved and I will do the same.
13. How will “The Family” make a difference in this world since losing Samaad to gun violence?
Quincy-We have more of a reason to succeed and we plan to push our peers to do greater things regardless of their background.
Danny-We will keep Samaad’s legacy going forever. His name will never be forgotten & every move we make is for him. Every moment we spend, every laugh, everything is for him. We loved Samaad dearly and his name will not be forgotten.
Davay-Not only will we make sure that kids realize that violence isn’t okay, we will continue to influence people to do what they love and never let anyone get in the way of your dreams and fighting for what you love.