6 Words Of Wisdom From Issa Rae That Prove She's Inspirational & Definitely One To Watch
Wednesday served up some good news for people who want to see more funny and generally awesome women making television: HBO picked up a pilot created by amazing comedian Issa Rae. Rejoice!
This was a long time coming, and it's long past the time when Issa Rae should have been a household name. We have been given a gift, and that is the gift of more of Rae's voice in our pop cultural lives.
If you're not familiar, Rae's been making awesome things for a while, premiering her web series Misadventures Of An Awkward Black Girl back in 2011. In 2012 she made Forbes' "30 Under 30" list, and Awkward Black Girl won a Shorty Award. Since then she's collaborated with Shonda Rhimes on a (sadly not picked up) pilot for ABC, been praised by the New York Times (and many, many, many others), professionally courted by Pharrell Williams, and then some.
In other words: She's been a name to watch for a long while now and this HBO thing just further sealed the deal. If you need more proof, look no further than these quotes proving that she's got a head on her shoulders that the wide world needs to be paying attention to:
Who is to say what [black folks] do and don't do? What we can and can't do? The very definition of 'blackness' is as broad as that of 'whiteness,' yet we're seemingly always trying to find a specific, limited definition. As CNN produces news specials about us and a white female rapper feels culturally dignified to use the N-word, our collective grasp of 'blackness' is becoming more and more out of touch. To quote the gentleman at the end of the trailer, [for "Black Folk Don't,] 'Black folk don't necessarily agree with each other about what being black is.' And, that's not a bad thing.
On what led her to create her first hit, Misadventures Of An Awkward Black Girl:
I've always been writing and have always been an avid TV watcher. There's a specific type of quirky, observational humor that I've always liked (on shows like The Office, Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm), and I wanted to bring that to a character that I felt like I could relate to. There were never any leads of color who were like me, who had personality traits like me, like Oh my god, I go through this, or Yes, I get her, I understand her logic. So I wanted to create that character and I just meshed the two together.
On how she responds to racist comments:
I just retweet them or laugh. There’s not really much you can say. If someone hates you for the color of your skin then what can you really do?
Diversity is still a huge issue. We need more people of color in positions of power to green light content.If you want to see content of color, then it has to be in the hands of people of color.
And Again, On Silly Network Fears:
Networks are too fearful of ostracizing people and aren't willing to fully address race. I've always had an issue with the [assumption] that people of color, and black people especially, aren't relatable. I know we are.
And On Being Called the "Black Lena Dunham" Or "Black Tina Fey"
I love Tina, and with Lena—my show came out before Girls did. I don't think that we have the same voice at all. But I'm not offended by it. That's just how people need to describe it for themselves. They'll learn soon.
Damn straight they will.