Issa Rae: Acting And Activism

Issa Rae

Issa Rae is a popular American actress and screenwriter who has become quite popular in recent times. Issa Rae achieved widespread acclaim and fame for her work in “Awkward Black Girl” and the series “Insecure”. Issa Rae also has a popular YouTube channel. In this post, we will find out more about Issa Rae. Let’s get started.

Issa Rae: All You Need To Know

When was Issa Rae born?

Issa Rae was born on January 12, 1985, in Los Angeles, although for some years she lived with her family in Dakar, the capital of Senegal. However, shortly afterward she returned to the United States and once back she had to face her parents’ divorce.

Issa Rae’s complete birth name is Jo-Issa Rae Diop. She is of Senegalese descent from her father’s side. Her father is a pediatrician and neonatologist from Senegal (currently practicing in Inglewood, California), while her mother worked as a teacher in Louisiana. Issa Rae’s parents met and fell in love in France while studying. Issa Rae grew up with four brothers.

How was Issa Rae’s childhood?

Issa Rae’s family had relocated to Senegal for some time but they moved back to the USA and Issa Rae grew up in Potomac, Maryland. Despite being black, Issa Rae’s childhood was more about things that aren’t usually associated with “blackness” such as the swim team and street hockey and Passover dinners with Jewish best friends. Speaking about her childhood, Issa Rae said: “As a teenager, my blackness was also questioned by some of the life choices I made that weren’t considered to be ‘black’ choices. For example, joining the swim team when it is a known fact that ‘black folk don’t swim’; or choosing to become a vegetarian when blacks clearly love chicken.”

Issa Rae’s family moved to Park-Windsor Hills in Los Angeles and she started attending a predominantly black high school called the King Drew Magnet High School of Medicine and Science, where he began acting. Unfortunately, her parents divorced during Issa Rae’s high school days. Speaking about her time in Los Angeles, Issa Rae said: “Who I was was not acceptable to black L.A. youth: the way I spoke and my sense of humor. Everybody else had relaxers and pressed hair. I wore my hair in an Afro puff. Nappy. The way I dressed. It was all about name brands at the time in L.A. I had no idea. All those things, I failed miserably at.”

Where did Issa Rae go to college?

Issa Rae was an excellent student and was accepted into Stanford University. She pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in African-American Studies. Issa Rae showed a keen interest in acting and screenwriting in college. She made numerous music videos and directed many plays. She even created a reality series called Dorm Diaries for fun. Issa Rae chanced upon Tracy Oliver at Stanford University and co-produced Awkward Black Girl after that.

Prior to Awkward Black Girl becoming a hit, Issa Rae was doing odd jobs and at a point in time, even considered joining a law school or a business school for better career opportunities.

How did Awkward Black Girl launch Issa Rae’s career?

“Awkward Black Girl” is the YouTube series that made Issa Rae very popular. When she finished high school she entered Stanford University and there she met producer Tracy Oliver. Together they created ‘Awkward Black Girl’ and, since then, they have become the perfect professional tandem. And it would be this series broadcast on YouTube that would put the spotlight on Rae once it premiered in 2011. Speaking about Awkward Black Girl, Issa Rae said: “You know, even with the ‘Awkward Black Girl’ episodes, they come out once a month. That’s great for me, it’s comfortable, it gives each time to digest, time for new people to get on to it and catch up, but oftentimes I have people who are almost demanding a higher output from me.”

How has Issa Rae’s career been since Awkward Black Girl?

Such was the boom unleashed by the fiction that thanks to a crowdfunding campaign they obtained the necessary funds for the production of the second season, while new projects continued to be presented to their creator. From an acting point of view, Issa Rae’s other work was in series such as ‘The Number’ or ‘Little Horribles’.

Now, the series that would consolidate her figure would be ‘Insecure’, released in 2016 on HBO and which Rae herself created alongside Larry Wilmore, in addition to starring in it. The fiction aired until 2021, being one of the Californian’s great successes both in front of and behind the screen.

In 2022 she returned to take charge of the creation of two new projects, the reality show ‘Sweet Life: Los Angeles’ and the series ‘Rap Sh!t’, both also released on HBO.

In the cinema, and after participating in numerous short films, Issa Rae made her debut in 2018 with the film “The Hate U Give” and a year later she released the comedy “Little Big Problem”, alongside Regina Hall and Marsai Martin. In 2020 she appeared in “Portrait of a Love” and “The Lovebirds”, of which she also served as executive producer; while in 2022 she will join Dove Cameron and Ashton Kutcher for the premiere of “Vengeance.”

That same year, her signing for the film “Barbie” was announced, as well as for the adaptation of the novel ‘Erasure’.

Who is Issa Rae’s husband?

In 2021, Issa Rae married the Senegalese businessman Louis Diame.

What activism does Issa Rae do?

Issa Rae has been very active and vocal in her activism against race specific police brutality (disproportionately targeting black Americans). After Alton Sterling was unjustly shot and killed by the police in 2016, Issa Rae raised $700,000 for the Sterling Family Trust. The money was meant to help Sterling’s children go to college and get a degree.

Issa Rae’s professional career also reflects her political activism. She is an ardent supporter of women’s rights as well and her work strongly features themes of social justice. She propagates equality through her work and is closely associated with organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Speaking about casual racism, Issa Rae said: “You know, you have a lot of people – I’ve met a lot of people in the past, I’ve gone to private schools, you know, encountered different people who think that it’s OK to make comments, insensitive comments about your race because they’re joking. And think that if they’re joking and they say it, you know, good-naturedly, that things will fly.”

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