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Film / TV

Issa Rae embraced her inner Awkward Black Girl and created her own damn path

January 12, 2018
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It might have taken forever and a day to get this Awkward Black Girl to the silver screen after her web-series gained cult success but Issa Rae is just hitting her stride. Alongside peers like Michaela Coel, Rae is pioneering tv programming in ways few Black women writers and showrunners outside of Ava, Shonda, and Oprah have been able to.

After graduating from Stanford, where she earned a degree in African and African-American Studies, Rae received a theatre fellowship at The Public Theatre in NYC. Taking acting classes for college pal Tracey Oliver, the two worked odd-ends and failed business ventures until they began to take seriously the idea of creating an outlet for the stories of awkward black girls everywhere during a time when they were rarely being told, let alone listened to.

Premiering on YouTube way back in 2011, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl laid a foundation for black woman storytellers to come.

And for that, we wish a very special Happy Birthday to the one and only Issa Rae who turns 33 today.

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