Are you awkward? A person of color? Or a woman? Or maybe everything ? If so or if not then you might find some humor and relate a little to the misadventures that some people who are awkward, persons of color, women or men, experience sometime in their own lives and laughably share with us all.
As an inspiring blogger and fervent supporter of an open, welcoming, and diverse world I use social media & blogging as my platform to share my views, thoughts, and visions. Similarly other inspiring individuals share their thoughts, voices, views, etc. through their talents, skills, and abilities. With so many inspiring individuals making history I thought it would be great to share a few individuals who not only inspire others, but also inspire me. These individuals are a part of the ‘inspiring millennial’ generation, who like myself are growing up in the 21st century and working toward influential changes in multiple ways.
As a person of color and also a woman I have watched, laughed, adored, and even shed some tears for the humorous as well as most original raw work the long-time running independent YouTuber(*now HBO Series creator) Jo-Issa Rae(known as Issa Rae) has made.
Making waves currently as an official HBO Series creator & co-producer of Insecure (2016~present),33 year old Issa Rae is re-defining stereotypes and ideas about being black. The HBO Series Insecure for those who do/did not know is partially based off of Issa’s original YouTube web series The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl(2011). If you are not familiar with Issa’s “Awkward Black Girl” show then I highly recommend you check out the web series here! (◕ㅁ◕✿)
Similar in many ways and not Issa Rae much like myself grew up experiencing life outside of the standard norm or idea of what is considered “black” in America. From living in Senegal(Africa), Maryland, and South Los Angeles(California) Issa’s childhood & adolescent experiences were different. Her difference later became her strength when she began to work on her YouTube channel and create video content geared toward sharing stories “about issues of identity and feelings of not fitting in.” Through her own personal experiences Issa created her “Awkward Black Girl” series. As her focus expanded beyond her own experiences Issa created more content such as ~ Dorm Diaries, The Choir, GIANTS, etc.
Like many other digital content creators Issa found her niche on YouTube where she possessed autonomy over all videos and stories she could create. For Issa, YouTube provided an outlet for her to express her creativity and love for theater. But, more importantly YouTube channel and subsequent web series introduced her own views on black persons of color experiences(*in America), which were not adequately portrayed within Hollywood. However, make no mistake that Issa Rae’s career and life interest goals that she decided to pursue came easily. Issa like many millennial’s today did not have her footing when she graduated from university herself. Dipping her feet in water she weighed different career paths ranging from enrolling in theater, business, and even law school. Taking a leap of faith on continuing to produce her own video content and sharing personal stories Issa was fortunate to find support along the way.
Since her “Awkward Black Girl” web series was uploaded in 2011 Issa has produced many more web series, has been sponsored by well-known artists, and has earned newfound recognition thanks to her co-produced HBO Series Insecure(*that she also stars in). Issa has since been making strides and maintaining her original goals of portraying black persons of color who fall outside of what is considered “black” and who are “relatable” to all people no matter what race.
As one of the 2018 Time100 most influential people Issa has become a source of light for the awkward, insecure, and different who too live or possess life experiences outside of their own viewed racial standard norm. As mentioned earlier Issa much like myself grew up feeling like she didn’t fit in. She recognized her difference and she accepted it as her own uniqueness. Following suit I too recognize that being different is special and should not be considered a negative aspect of one’s life. For differences can create, inspire, and motivate us to start if not be a part of something new. Issa has certainly started something new as she proudly represents being awkward, black, and everything in-between that sometimes humor best describes.
*Note: The main content picture posted on this blog post is not owned by the Yeppunshikan author, full credit is given to the respective trademark holder and/or companies.