Hey everyone! Be it you address me as Andrea, Drea, The Afro Goddess, or Art.Goddess.Drea— I am the two hands and creative mind behind The Afro Goddess Connection.
Since 2016 I have been serving the Afro diaspora with melanated visions, products, and an all around positive, spiritually advancing lifestyle. I stand for Hoodoo. I stand for the complete black family unit. I stand for the rise of REAL black inventors and creators.
...and I stand and have stood TALL AF....so tall in fact...I've had to start fighting a silent war. But like I teach you all— be resilient. Be magick. I must admit, 2021 to date has kicked my ass. Situation after situation. Fight after fight. So if you saw me on social media...you saw the wins of exhausting, gruesome battles. All of you fighting for your place in this world, know the heights of what you want can COST and one must be ready to pay the price.
If you've been an avid reader...you may have noticed me eluding to a story untold—a mystery....a reason (or a few reasons)...why my social media existence has waned, why packages moved slowly or for a time went stagnant, why my personal boundaries got so high... and NOW this chapter is closing...and the story can be told....with soundtrack.
I told you before— The Revolution Shall Not Be Televised...
(Disclaimer: this is not written in my usual conservative, "love and light" tone. On the other side of a powerful light is striking darkness. The music is VERY aggressive. This is the side of me necessary for this battle... why— one should never bring a knife to a gunfight.)
Dr.Dre "Forgot About Dre" — And should we just be meeting or you forgot, allow me to introduce myself.
"Y'all know me, still the same OG
But I been low-key
Hated on by most these niggas
With no cheese, no deals and no G's..."
I'm a tiny woman, but I always knew how to move the room. Not loud, but powerfully spoken, I've accumulated some interesting encounters over the last three years. On my journey, I wondered if these be the lessons of business, life, and love I was to share with the world.
Some, no— MOST, of you have taken this journey with me in stride; understanding me to be the artist whom writes and paints from the ongoing experience of my own pain and pressures of existing while simultaneously finding upliftment within the glimpses into my own personal solutions. However, some have abused me. Some have taken more from my well of care and disrespected the movement in a way I couldn't always shield you all from the ripple effect of it's happenings.
But like I said...these were lessons...and since, ohhh the power I'm gained.
So I'm about to share some truths with you all. I'm about to shed some light on the darker side of the world of business that often is not shown. Hopefully, you'll learn something from my journey and find encouragement for your own pivot should you need. Let's go.
When Dre wrote this song... he channeled me.
All 'em little gangstas, who you think helped mold 'em all?
Now you wanna run around talkin' 'bout guns like I ain't got none
What, you think I sold 'em all
'Cause I stay well off?
Now all I get is hate mail all day sayin' Dre fell off
What, 'cause I been in the lab
With a pen and a pad tryin' to get this damn label off?
What makes my art so intensely powerful is my deep connection with the Spirit world. I am a triple Pisces and my intuitive nature supersedes most; no arrogance involved...just facts. I am a 5/1 human design...one of a rare nine percent, one of the world's change creators. My mission has proven to be unique and along the way I've done so well at it; that I've caught so much attention— it almost swallowed me whole.
I've been used TO THE MAX. I've been price gauged from wholesalers predicting my ability to succeed. I've been "sis hook me up"ed to death. I've given so much willingly, that somewhere along the way others felt overly entitled to my talents. People have stolen my work. Instagram has given no care to 40+ social media scammers pretending to be me. This has caused GREAT confusion. This has killed my spirit for being an online small business...but all things are by design (wink, wink).
For a while...it crushed my spirit. For a while I felt no one saw me, just the thing they were looking to buy. For a while, I found myself depressed by people whom don't understand and would never even attempt a fraction of the walk through this valley of darkness. For a while, the judgement hurt so bad I was stiff.
But one day I remembered who I was. I remembered myself to be a South Carolina born Hoodoo, not a meme baby looking for my next cheat code for life—I was born a "bridging warrior" with real help on hand— just waiting for me to ask. All the power to High John, Clara, Sula Mae, and Great Grandma Adeline.
Daily, memes are exchanged online; but it's not enough to me to continuously share information...I strive to BE the information in motion. It's not enough for me to amass wealth as one of those sharing the past or another person's thoughts... I have to externalize ME and my own voice. A type of modern day oracle I am, and no longer am I afraid to say it.
My craft often requires me to tuck away...to feel, alone. This does not work well with our "now, now, now" society. Truly one must understand a delicacy to take longer to prepare than fast food! Well, I'm a delicacy and time, as an entire concept has my Spirit (and maybe your's) fucked up. The thing is, Spirit acknowledges not the world's construct of time or time management. Spirit sees a flow and opportunity under the right conditions. Kicker is, we never truly know what those conditions are, so all we can do is our best and hope we unlock the door after (often) endless tries.
J. Cole "No Role Modelz"— Yep, ain't been none.
"Fool me one time, shame on you (Ayy)
Fool me twice, can't put the blame on you (Ayy)
Fool me three times, fuck the peace sign
Load the chopper, let it rain on you (Bop, bop, bop)"
So much in this song... so I'll use some bullet points on why it makes this playlist:
- Covid illnesses took me for a ride through other people. I almost lost my only sister...that was a long, dark, and very traumatic experience for me. I lost my Aunt Deloris— know it's a different hurt to see your father heartbroken. My parents realized they were aging, watching many of their friends transition, and that reality has been one we have all had to face. Although I'm lucky to still have both of my parents back in SC, I'm just, well, not ready. Gods, I know you've heard my plea.
- So... I'm here as an internationally recognized entrepreneur; as a wife/mother, black woman, college dropout, and first generation six figure earner. For those outside of the black community, allow me to explain the pressures on the 30 to 45ish range first generation six figure earner. One day you wake up and realize you are in charge of it all— the past, present, and future simultaneously. The well-being of everyone and everything weighs heavily on your shoulders and the world gives no mercy for you as you navigate elders dying, children being ill, a pandemic, political corruption, stress induced illnesses, and everyday just simply needing to be and give MORE. Often, there feels as if there is no more to give. Often there is even no blueprint to create more...often we just have to recalibrate and make a way. If you are in this stage of life, I see YOU.
- Awww man...the frenemies that lurk...the leeches that sneak up...the wolves in sheep's clothing that appear out of no where. I've had my fill of ill intended counterparts. I've befriended people to only feel the hate and then when I tried to slip away...the gaslighting...the illusions presented; only for me to be stupid and not follow my intuition and be painfully proven initially right in the end. People see a light in me and it draws them for one selfish reason or another...and it's up to me (and you for you) to fan away, and sometimes kill, the gnats.
Nicki Minaj "Freedom"— is all any of us want...me included.
"Pink Friday is the imprint
And these bitches basic, instinct
Oh, shit, my commercial's on
Did I really body bitches with commercial songs?
Did I really prophesy everything I'd do?
But, before I continue, lemme thank my crew
So that was Young Wayne, Mack Maine, Baby and Slim came
Tezz and E.I. told me it wouldn't be in vain
'Cause prior to me signing, I coulda went insane
And even now I think, "Do I really want this fame?"
- I hope one day I've created a path for our children to truly understand the magick within them. Black creators continuously get used, underpaid, and overlooked— even by our own.
- I watched someone try and steal my entire concept of the Clear Vision deck. I was pissed...but a wise man once said nothing at all.
- I literally have a few friends right now. Everyone out here ain't solid. Always know that, but those that are, keep them close. I've kept some friends too long and I've lost friends I wished I hadn't. It's sad, but when they say everybody can't go with you...it's true. And still I miss some people...but it is what is.
- Synedra makes sure I don't get too deep in. Never have I had a friend threaten a police wellcheck because she lives out of town. I was mad at first...but forreal, I was spiraling and I needed that.
- Tasha is the most solid. Period.
- My husband...gosh...when I say there has never been another person who understood me...complimented me. Truly my gift from the Universe on this hard journey through...let's just say I'm NOT easy.
T.I. "I Can't Quit" (Warning: Extremely Explicit)— but it's a delicate, yet pretty gangsta, situation.
"Look, I'm this far from being a star and just that close to quitting
I never should've came close to missing
But I want to be a musician, pimpin', not a politician
Listen, feel my position, it's a rough transition"
Another bullet list:
- The politics of business urk me...you think you want in...but just be aware that no market is avoid villians. A lot of people say they love learning about you and what you do...when really they are casing the joint to see what they can pilfer and take as their own.
- There are a lot of well read Fools out here that have success at soaking up information but lack real world magickal application— often they are the loudest, and most powerless, in the room. Be careful of these types.
- Hoodoo ain't for everybody and I'll continue to assert this in the lion's den at all times.
- Most stories glorify the hunter, because the lion has no voice. Luckily, this lion speaks.
- Someone called me arrogant. I'm just sure. They needed my help immediately after. I gave it.
- I told a friend how she was falling off— she never spoke to me again. I miss her but I love her from afar.
- The business world sees me and it's scary, there are a lot of politics in play. I was never able to secure a spot for a store. Why? A nice commercial leasing receptionist told me it was because my business contained the word "Afro." I brokenheartedly shared with my husband her advice as I road past a shopping center named Asian Square. (And if you think she's lying, tell us a name of a business storefront that contains Afro that doesn't sell beauty products, religion, entertainment, or food? I'll wait.)
- I can't quit. I have to see what's at the finish line of my destiny. Even if I have to crawl there alone.
- Because bigger companies are starting to recognize me as a threat, the obstacles I've silently endured have been next level. It took some time to grow into being my own strong defense, but now— just try it.
- Tokenism is real.
- Chess not, checkers.
Nipsy Hustle "Bigger Than Life"— EVERY. WORD.
Know how hard it is for me to choose a stanza from this track. THIS song. This song is my heartbeat verbalized. If you've listened to none of the tracks in this blog, listen to this one. This is who I am...every word. There is "a night" I crave... it's coming.
"But I don’t want no help
Just let me suffer through this
The world would not know Jesus Christ if there was never Judas
This knife that's in my back
Will be the truth that introduced us
And the distance in between us
Is the proof of my conclusion"
Clearly you see the bullets are a thing now:
- Before anything else is said, know how many times I've cried in my car in the garage to this song... out of gratitude, out of confusion, out of weakness. I'm often exhausted...but I'm a warrior and you are too.
- I find that I'm ALWAYS the most interesting person in the room, but I'm also not always the most likeable. My perspective can be intensely striking and emotionally charged. Secretly I wish to sometimes be otherwise, but I understand my place in the ecosystem of the world.
- Asking for help makes me cringe. This causes me to sometimes get in really fucked up situations. All the praise to High John de Conqueror...and my parents. I wish on no one to have no one.
- I felt some people switch up on me mid contract. It hurt me so bad...but even if you don't like me you will respect me.
- Pain does indeed bring understanding; then you get to find out what you're really made of.
- I've never failed well. I joke about that being the reason I'm successful; but the reality is that my fear of failing has caught up with me and recently I found I didn't know how. I was forced to learn. I grew. Then, I read failure is a sign you didn't go big enough. Interesting perspective. I went bigger. The doors started to open. Marvelous.
- ..."I see these hoes plotting...but I ain't worried about it...I know God got me."
Lupe Fiasco "Put You on Game"— because it's a dirty game out here.
"I am the American dream
The rape of Africa, the undying machine
The overpriced medicine, the murderous regime
The tough guy in front and the one behind the scenes"
So let's talk about the background drama behind The Clear Vision deck. First of all, I am most proud of what it represents and the deeply connected system the Ancestors entrusted me to create. At the time it went into production, we were heavy into the pandemic, the manufacturing company had an internal fallout and split into two, and to make matters worse— the world had a fucking paper shortage. Long story short, I found myself waiting for THOUSANDS of dollars worth of decks while the half of the company I chose fumbled through it's manufacturing. They started over several times due to the unique plastic material being used. In the end, it arrived four months later than expected, and not also without a battle at the U.S. Customs counter... So many people were demanding information I didn't have during those extremely stressful months. But I also couldn't risk causing a mass fuss and making them angry and ending up with no decks. So again, "chess not checkers"— and "a wise man once said nothing at all." And to top it off, when I contacted them for reorder...they not only price gauged me, but also demanded I place double the order...."um mam— no." So this is why The Clear Vision only came in once. I hope you love it if you were lucky enough to get one. As for everyone else, in due time...
- I spent a lot of time last year defending my eldest in middle school. Not only is parenting in this day and age extremely challenging, but the public school system is no walk in the park either. Let's just say there are very few "Mrs. Green"s left where I'm at. My girls know there's never any fear in my heart when it comes to how they're being treated, and even though I reprimanded her for her part privately, I'll never let an outsider think I don't support my baby. (Listen to me....family over everything. The school to prison pipeline is real.)
- USPS has had 3 inflation hikes in the last two years and their service is getting poorer and poorer. And trying to be nice, I never raised the shipping rates. Yep, that hurt over time. Lesson learned...I cannot single-handedly control inflation. Got it.
- The Universe truly sent me a blessing when I met publishers in Texas last May. Reality is I've realized I don't want to be a small business— I have a really big dream and that requires me to be a BIG business...and everything that had transpired prior to this was the Universe guiding me to this decision. However, running a small business and big business is sooo different. So basically I've had to spend a grand deal of time researching, having meetings, planning; all while still finding time to create and be a mother! Daily I'm a lawyer, accountant, graphics artist, PR agent, author, artist, and more... y'all know I'm not afraid to start alone.
August Alsina "Bossin Up"— In conclusion, if you've made it this far, you're my person and you deserve to know where we're going...
"If they hate then let 'em hate
It's gon' be okay
Gon' be on that paper chase
'Til me and my niggas straight
And if we ever took a loss
We learn from them all
Know they see us bossin' up
Yeah, they see us floss"
- First of all, if you've found yourself on the receiving end of stagnancy from me, my apologies. Clearly I've been enduring the storm the best I could and some days I've fallen short. For those of you that requested refunds, you received them— and I'm apologetic you encountered me during such a turbulent time. Best wishes always. For those of you that remained faithful in the journey, packages will flow soon with this new energy of clarity and power attached. You were drawn to me for a reason...perhaps your packages now will force you into the BIGGER that you've been avoiding as well.
- In January I'll be a contestant on a national reality show surrounding the concept of startup entrepreneurship. I've been recognized as one of the best startup builders in the country. Humbled by this. Excited. Terrified. But as I said before, I don't lose well... (and that does not mean I'm a sore loser, but I am in the mindset of being a winner, and you must be to actually win!)
- My crowdfunding venture for my doll, Nova: Goddess of the Universe, flopped. Ehhh, I was sad at first, but again, another blessing in disguise. This guided me into the pivot to create AGC Toys Inc.— an entire toy line from the decks...because like I said, the business world sees me.
Moral of the story, fear not the darkness of the journey. You will fall. You will be unsure. You will feel the effects of the elements. Go through it. Sunshine is on the other side. Let no one judge you— even the best of intentions go wrong sometimes. Mourn your losses, then get up and WIN.
Thanks for spending this time with me. Here's to cleansing for the new year. Blessings always, and upward we go.