Issa Rae is an inspiration for every “awkward Black girl turned awkward Black woman” around the world. I stumbled upon Rae’s YouTube web series, Awkward Black Girl back in 2013, and will be forever grateful that I did. As a woman of colour, and what people would characterize as the “alternative Black girl,” it was comforting to finally watch a woman that I could relate with. No generic stereotypes, just a Black woman living her life (that happened to be filled with anxieties concerning all her intersectionalities.)
Issa Rae is the creator of ABG, a series starting the main character “J” (Issa Rae) who is awkwardly and hilariously going through her day to day life with relatable weird moments like being stuck in white spaces, trying to avoid conversations and how to act while your “soon to be bae” is in the room. Rae kills it with her amazing diverse cast showing her perspective on Black culture.
Rae has also created other web series such as Ratchetpiece Theater, A hilarious web series where she finds the best ratchet music out there and breaks it down to the core. The Choir, a must watch and super relatable web series (especially if you grew up in a Black church like I did) shows you a perspective of a Black church trying to find its way and gain more people for the congregation. RoomieLoverfriends, is a web series about the pros and cons of living with the opposite sex roommate and what happens if you two end up in the same bed, and not to mention The “F” Word, a web series about a trio called the Fly Guys (DJ B, Enimal & Tone) shows their daily lives and the struggle to break into the music industry. Rae has also helped produced web series such as Short Film Sundays, Let Leslie Tell It, and Colour Creative TV.
Issa Rae works effortlessly reaching out to communities to get their work seen and heard through YouTube and other media platforms. She even wrote a book: The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. (A must read!). So when I saw that Issa Rae was having her show, Insecure, on HBO which she wrote and created, I was so happy! I literally yelled, “YAS GIRL! YOU GETTIN’ IT! I SEE YOU! Insecure will premiere this fall on Oct. 9th 2016 on HBO. I do have to say, it’s nice to see Black television again, to see it rising to its true potential, especially when you open these platforms to talented people of colour. So this is a shout out to Issa Rae, an unapologetic Black woman speaking her hilarious truth.
Words by Tesia Pennie