Issa Rae is the quintessential Black millennial success story but it hasn’t been a crystal stair for her. In an appearance on The View last month, Rae discussed her new hit show Insecure, growing up awkward, and how she has overcome her own insecurities.
In the video, Rae explains how she struggled in her twenties with being an independent producer and artist via YouTube while many of her friends were becoming doctors and lawyers. Those interactions sometimes led Rae to ask, “Am I doing life right?” These concerns are also reflected in some of the insecurities Rae’s character (also named Issa) has on her new show. The likeness between real-life Issa and her character (who we met on Awkward Black Girl years ago) could be because the character is about “75 to 80%” based on Rae’s experiences.
One of the things Rae has always discussed is her issues with blackness growing up. Having lived in Southern California, Maryland, and Senegal, Rae’s conception of her Black identity was often called into question especially when she changed from one school to the next. After leaving a predominantly white school and going to a predominantly Black school, Rae remembers “not feeling Black enough.” She struggled with that because she was actually darker skinned than many of her peers so she began asking herself questions like, “what am I then?” Her openness and honesty about her Black Experience has inspired many viewers and fans to express their “awkward” blackness too.
Rae is not shy about admitting her insecurities and says that she still works through them now by “learning to become confident” in who she is. This is such a powerful and timely message from a woman whose work is a gift to us all.
Watch the video below:
Photo via YouTube