Em-URGE-ing Voices

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Issa Rae and Awkward Black Girl making the world stand up and LISTEN!

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October 9, 2012

Issa Rae is a talented director, producer, and actor has taken the internet and the web series realm by storm with her show The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl. This show captures some of the day to day antics of Jay, a young black woman navigating through the spaces of work, love, and the madness of life coupled with awkward and hilarious flashbacks of Jay’s childhood. Issa shows a refreshingly real look and tends to tackle issues that many feel are too taboo and controversial.

This show makes fun of stereotypes that women of color are often labeled with and every other culture as well. No one is safe. The language is raw and unedited, but I feel that this adds to the relatability of the show and the connection that I feel to the character Jay, and takes away the stuffiness that I feel many shows have. This show can cross the line, but I feel that the line should’ve been crossed a while ago.

My first experience with ABG was only because of the insistence of my roommate Drae. After having been underwhelmed by so many television depictions of Black women in the media, I honestly didn’t want to be annoyed or pissed off again. But once I watched “The Stop Sign” episode 1 of the series, I was hooked. Jay often expresses herself through raps and really caught my attention when I first tuned in.  I hopped on at a time when only 5 episodes had been released, and since episodes are delivered once a month, I felt like a little girl that couldn’t keep her hand out of the cookie jar every time I had to wait.  I just tap danced on my impatience until the next episode arrived.

ABG also navigates through the spaces of sex and relationships, as well as the awkward dating world in general which can be a very scary and uncomfortable place.

Once I got on the ABG train I  couldn’t get enough, It was really refreshing to see a black woman that looked like me and dealt with the same navigations of love that I see my friends and I myself have experienced in life. Seeing Awkward Black Girl sparked my interest into the other projects that Issa Rae has put her creative hands on, and I came across Roomie Lover Friends, a show about what can happen when two roommates take their relationship to the next level. This show is released every Saturday, and is exclusively shown on Issa Rae’s YouTube page actingrl112. This show I think would be of interest to those that like ABG, but don’t like that it only releases once a month. Issa Rae also has had hands in The Couple another show shown on the blackandsexytv YouTube channel.

Recently,  Issa Rae has been featured in Essence, Rolling Stone and even the Washington Post, so she is doing it, and I for one am glad to have a woman of color making moves and grabbing attention! Just last week it was announced that Issa Rae will be doing a new sitcom with Shonda Rimes (from Grey’s Anatomy) titled, “I HATE LA DUDES.” I don’t know about anyone else, but I am definitely excited for this series.

This show is not only addicting, but it provides a perspective that is missing; women of color in leading roles on shows. And, not just a woman of color, but a woman that looks relatable. Jay could easily be your sister, your best friend, or the awkward girl you see around school. She also spotlights reproductive justice in a way that’s down to earth and real. Issa Rae provides a great example of a powerful woman not just in front of the camera but behind it, so sit down and take a watch.  It will be a decision you won’t regret. As a matter of fact, I challenge all those that read this to check her and these other web series’ out, and tell me what you think; love it, hate it, offended let me know. I want to hear from you!

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