More Than Just An Address

By, Ascellia M. Arenas

🔆Cellibrate Black History🔆 I am teaching my classes about pre, during, and post slavery America; Jim Crow Laws; Segregation, and The Civil Rights Movement, this month. I showed them all kinds of realia: film clips, historical documents/photographs, and non-fiction vs fictitious texts about our history. I also taught them that post civil war segregation tactics didn’t end with Dr. King having a dream or Rosa Parks sitting in the front of the bus. Look at this picture for a moment…In that very lot, behind my siblings and me (in front of our property) the Klan used to burn crosses to try to intimidate us and make us move out of our neighborhood. This photo was taken in 1977, in Pembroke Pines, FL. We moved there in 1974. This was one of four properties my father owned (at that time). He wanted to move us to a new neighborhood, an exclusive neighborhood, where we can get a great education and then go to college, like my parents did. We were one of three black families in the entire city that owned homes there. Yes, my parents were friends with the other two couples that owned homes in the quiet suburban neighborhood, too. For years we defended our rights to live on this block, in this quaint little neighborhood, shrouded by pine trees. Imagine that…pine trees in Florida. Times have changed, a little. There are many families living here now, of all races and cultures. That empty lot is completely developed with hundreds of other homes with people living in them of all races, sizes, and varying degrees of intelligence. The neighborhood has grown significantly. My how things change, people change, but some ideas don’t; unless you influence the change. 

If you don’t talk to your children about real life, if you don’t teach them about their history, they will be doomed to repeat it. Make moves… #cellibrationpublishing #AYV2016 #blackhistorymonth 


Drake Makes A Million Matter in Miami: “God’s Plan”

By, Ascellia M. Arenas

I’ve been a Drake fan since Jimmy was in the wheelchair (Degrassi reference).

via  Google Images
Drake as Jimmy Brooks on Degrassi:The Next Generation
Recently Drake took a trip to Miami and used his video budget however he wanted for his latest single, “God’s Plan”.

Drake buzzed around Miami, like Peter Pan, giving away a million dollars to locals: 50k at a grocery store, buying toys for children, donating a van and cash to Alonzo Mourning’s foundation/school, giving a UM student, Destiny James, a 50k scholarship, donating cash to schools in Miami Dade County Public Schools, donating money to the Lotus House (a shelter for homeless women), purchased cars and gave them away, handed cash money to families, shut down a department store and took battered women on a shopping spree…has this man earned his wings in heaven? YES!!!

Did Drake just position himself as the most desired eligible bachelor in the process? Yes, here’s why…

Drake is the master charmer…what’s not to love?
1. He is single and unattached-no baby mama drama, no woman/women who actively behave like his significant other (although he often projects interest in women-no relationship actually sticks AND we see him get curved by the best of them-which makes him relatable).

2. He gave away one million dollars! He has plenty more where that came from but people like the idea that he actually documented it. Some might think he shouldn’t brag about charity and if he’s giving it away he should do so privately. WHY??? So often we see celebrities spending frivolously on themselves and their families. They show off their homes, cars, jewels, vacations, exotic fetishes, and we eat that up! With this gesture of kindness and selflessness, he made people feel like he wasn’t just out to “get their money”- that’s where most people mess up. No, we don’t need to see all the receipts of good deeds from celebrities. It’s just good to know that some want to show us that they can and do nice things for those who often are underserved and overlooked.
3. He is not out here fronting. He’s just a Black Jewish man who grew up in Canada and figured out how to get this shmoney without hurting people and/or being a jerk.

The reality of Drake might be different:  but for now, we just love the “idea” of Drake.

Thanks for reminding us that good men still exist, and we don’t have to settle.

You win, Drizzy!

Why do I blog? 

By, Ascellia M. Arenas
I have been blogging since 2010. I have been a writer all of my life. I wrote my first self-published piece (illustrated book) when I was about 7 years old. I’ve always been very active and interested in social media and its potential since its inception. 

Social Media Blogging 

I was first on Black Planet, late 90’s early 2000’s. I taught myself HTML (hyper text markup language) by trying to keep up with other members. I had fancy backgrounds and jazzy fonts, cute pictures and gifs that sparkled, and of course MUSIC! Then, I joined Facebook in 2003 while it was a mere college project by some ambitious college coeds at Harvard University, that connected other college students around the US together, categorized by school. There are many conflicting arguments about Facebook. I was in the doctoral program at Nova and we heard about what the kids at Harvard were working on, so I joined Facebook out of curiosity. The early days of Facebook were amazing, I learned so much! Backstory of Facebook

Back then MySpace was the #1 place to be online. Facebook took some ideas from it to create their own site, but they’ll probably deny it. I even thought I’d become a singer (yes I believed the idea that everyone had the opportunity to become whomever they wanted to through social media). Clearly, my recording career fell flat. It was fun but not really fulfilling my passions. 

Then my university became a part of a HBCU social sphere called Rattler Roundup it was related to the concept developed by Black Planet/Facebook/ MySpace. That was around 2007. It was great to reconnect with my college friends, it was genius and thriving until Facebook resurfaced and created a platform for all (not just college students). 
Facebook came back with new features and totally killed MySpace and all other “web ring” social media sites to the curb. It is the most widely used and trusted online social media communication portals on Earth. It all started with the concept of BLOGGING-communicating with others online, your ideas, hopes and dreams. 
There are many other social media sites out there; I secured my name on all of them: Twitter, Tumbler, Google Plus, Instagram, Snap Chat, you name it! None of those platforms allow me the freedom to produce content like my own personal blog. 
Having my own blog gives me a platform to produce content that is relevant to me. I have a voice that can not be extinguished. I can post whatever I want, whenever I want. Through blogging I get to create a space for myself that is unique and will allow me the space to express myself how I see fit. I won’t get blocked or deleted. My influence is my own to create and share. I can make it as elaborate or as simple as I want. Nobody can tell me what I can and can not post. I also realize what is within my right to share, legally. I developed a sense of maturity and responsibility through my blog. I do not want to get fired, arrested, or sued for what I post, so there’s that… See! There is freedom in blogging! 
There are other benefits to blogging, beyond having a personal rant space. Blogging can help you create multiple streams of income, can establish yourself as an expert/consultant, and can help you construct your passions in a way that is organized and coherent-thereby facilitating success. 
Here are some sites that can help you decide how and what you’d like to create with your own blog: 

Benefits of Blogging 

Why Should I Blog?
Why I Think You Should Blog

Starting A Personal Blog
Earning Income

Blogging can become overwhelming if you are not familiar with coding (even using simple templates require the ability to follow directions). Don’t let that deter you. Tinker around with it until you create your space the way you want it to be.  
Remember, the sky is the limit BUT the universe is not. Go for it, stumble, fall, make mistakes, dust off your keyboard and try again. You only fail when you stop trying.