22. Meeting Issa Rae

There is a web phenomenon called The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl. It follows the life of J an awkward black girl. It sounds almost too simple to work but it does. The creator and star Issa Rae has brilliantly made the show into hilarious way to bring to light issues we all face.

Through Issa’s writing she has given a voice to many black women who feel ignored by the mainstream media. Jamie and I were lucky enough to meet Issa Rae and Tracy Oliver  (producer and plays Nina). At first I thought they were comedians/actresses who came to promote the show. I soon learned they were both Stanford graduates and they created the whole show from the ground up.

They both talked about changing hollywood and putting more black women in production and in front of the camera, not in stereotypical roles. They both talked about meeting with network executives who wanted to cast J as video vixen Lauren London and completely rework the show. Of course, they politely said ‘Thanks but no Thanks.’ And that is what this show is about. Staying true to yourself and to your audience. I hope that the success of this show can be a wake up call to media executives who see minorities as tokens and are afraid to take a chance on something new.

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