Quantcast

Issa Rae Just Did It For The Culture (Again)

Issa Rae

In 2016, Issa Rae took her vision that was five years in the making, and transformed it what is now the HBO hit-show, Insecure. The groundbreaking series received an overwhelming response and led her to become one of the youngest (and most melanted) industry professionals in the game. Issa's initiative to tell all of our stories is invaluable to further developing the archetypes of black women.


Last year on the Emmys red carpet, she delivered the prolific quote that will resonate in our hearts and minds forever: "I'm rooting for everybody black." The quote that is now written across t-shirts and coffee mugs across this nation is a reminder to Issa, that we're rooting for you too, boo. It was just announced that the actress received her first Emmy nod for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy, and it's an occasion worth celebrating. Although her success may seem overnight to some, this nomination was years in the making.

Giphy

I believe it was junior year of college when I discovered Issa's YouTube series, Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl, and I've been following her ever since. I recall how elated I felt seeing a depiction of a black woman in the media that was more aligned with me than ever before.

Issa's character asked all of the questions that many of us refuse to say aloud out of fear that we were alone in those hella random moments. In remaining true to her art form, she's given a platform to other self-proclaimed awkward black girls, including myself.

With so much of the world telling black women who they (allegedly) are — boisterous, bitter, angry, and quick to check whoever, wherever — it's easy to feel lost. You try to live up to the hype of that monolithic script, not because you necessarily want to, but because we've been made to feel it's the only way. Issa proves that it's not.

When I think about the phase I went through in middle school, trying to keep up with the the idea of who a "typical black girl" should be, I can't help but wonder how much sooner I might have come to find myself if we had women like Issa Rae around. I can't imagine how beneficial it would have been to have a voice that reassured little black girls like me that our awkwardness and social anxiety were acceptable. Representation matters, honey.

That statement will never get old because although matters in the media are constantly improving, there's definitely room for additional multidimensional roles. We often internalize media, this observation has been studied for years now. This internalization impacts our self-esteem, mood, and behavior. When they are unable to see themselves reflected in the media, it leaves little girls and boys alike feeling as though they're limited to the hyper-sexualized or hyper masculine scripts that were pre-written for them. The media's lack of diversity has the ability to hinder a positive self-image among people of color.

Related: Issa Rae Believes It's Unfair That Black Women Have To Be "Every Woman"

The past five years have been epic for black television, generally speaking. In that time frame, we've been blessed with characters like the Vera Wang Queen, Olivia Pope, and the sperm-snatching Mary Jane Paul, who are each portrayals of black women in powerful positions. They kicked down the doors of primetime TV so that more complex characters of color could have an opportunity to thrive. We see this cultural progression in shows like Queen Sugar and Atlanta.

The roles that Issa continues to create and advocate for, are roles that speak to our soul on several levels, making these characters agents of change that reach multiple generations of people. These qualities alone allow her work to transcend everything that has been done prior to her reign.

There's TV B.I. (before Issa) and there's TV A.I. (after Issa), and I truly believe that everything to follow will continue to change the way we view ourselves through the scope of media for the better.

*Featured image by Getty Images

I’m sure a high percentage of people who chose to click this article either are fixers, former fixers, or maybe they want to understand why fixers feel the need to make it their responsibility to change everyone. Well, for one, barely anyone who fits the bill knows why they do what they do until it exhausts them—like myself. I have been a fixer for as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved fighting for the underdog. Something about being needed for the betterment of people’s lives has always felt very fulfilling to me. That is until I’d invested so much in many close relationships that it backfired on me. And like many fixers, I would question how I could have offered so much, yet people treated me anyhow in the end?

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

When I first heard about Harlem, the new Amazon series about four Black girlfriends in the city, I admit, I wasn't a fan. There, I said it. I'm a child of the golden era of Girlfriends, Living Single, Friends, Moesha, Sex and the City, and The L Word. My friends and I were real-life offspring of these constructs who had a lot in common with the women of those shows. Even after enjoying a season of the similar new Showtime series Run the World, I'd had enough of stories about friends "navigating their way through" their 20s, or 30s, or 40s. I loved these shows, but thought to myself, "Why do we need a Harlem? Can't we tell other stories?"

Keep reading... Show less

Nick Cannon is letting viewers in on a little secret about himself that is common with many people, yet surprising coming from the actor. On his self-titled talk show, the TV host along with a group of other men got vulnerable about their insecurities in the bedroom. Nick kicked it off by revealing his insecurity first.

Keep reading... Show less

As someone who has always considered themselves beautiful at any size, I can't say that I have always loved my body. Sure, there have been moments where I thought I was the sexiest thing walking. But for the most part, all I saw when I looked in the mirror were flaws. My thighs were always too big. Butt full of dimples from cellulite. Boobs always in the way. And my arms too jiggly.

Keep reading... Show less

The NAACP Image Awards have released their nominations for 2022 and some of our favorites have been nominated. From television series like Insecure to films like The Harder They Fall and music artists like Saweetie and Jazmine Sullivan, the annual show, which is known for Black excellence is sure to blow us away this year with the amount of talent nominated in the various categories.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Boris Kodjoe And Nicole Ari Parker Know “When To Bring Work Home” For Their New Film 'Safe Room'

The husband-and-wife dream team have found their sweet spot.

Latest Posts