My introduction to the world of Issa Rae was about 5 years ago when I stumbled upon her web series called ‘AWKWARD Black Girl.’ Her [Issa’s] abrupt switch from dancing in her car to freezing up and trying to sink as deeply into the driver’s seat as she possibly could when she came to a stop sign next to someone she knew was the type of character I’d yet to see. The series follows her character “J” as she navigates the life of an awkward black girl through career, dating, finance, and social situations. The second season of that series was funded through Pharell Williams ‘I AM Other’ project which played a hand in garnering Issa much deserved attention.
After penning a novel, “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” Issa flirted with a collaboration between herself and [the Queen/King of television] Shonda Rhimes that ultimately didn’t work out. Soon after that let-down, news of Issa Rae getting picked up by HBO broke. The series ‘Insecure’ that is written and produced by Issa and comedian Larry Wilmore premiered October 9th on HBO. In an interview Issa had with W. Kamau Bell and Kevin Avery on their podcast ‘Denzel Washington is the Greatest Actor of All Time Period’, she explained that the show, “…follows two black women as they navigate life pushing 30 and what it means to be a modern day black woman.” For everyone wondering if this is going to be anything like ‘AWKWARD Black Girl’ Issa went on to say that “It’s in a universe closer to my personal life…while ‘Awkward Black girl’ was more caricature-ish; this one aims to be more raw and real.”
Cheers to you, Issa! And cheers to the influx of Black people telling their own stories. I dig it.