Issa Rae

Actor / Filmmaker
Date Of Birth:
12 January 1985
Place Of Birth:
Los Angeles, California
Best Known As:
The creator of the Web series Awkward Black Girl

Name at birth: Jo-Issa Rae Diop

Issa Rae is an actress and filmmaker who created and starred in the Web comedy series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. That success led to her career as a producer, writer, director and actor in cable television series such as Insecure (2016-21) and A Black Lady Sketch Show (2019-21). Those two shows brought her a total of eight Emmy nominations. Rae grew up in Senegal, Maryland and South Los Angeles, and graduated from Stanford University in 2007 with a degree in African-American studies. While in college, she was active in theater productions (including staging an adaptation of Spike Lee's School Daze), and she went on to study filmmaking at the New York Film Academy. While trying to break into show business, Rae began producing short videos for the Web, including FLY GUYS Present the F Word and Dorm Diaries. She launched The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl in February of 2011, and it ran for two "seasons" until February of 2013, financed in part by a Kickstarter and by Pharell Williams, who put season two on his YouTube channel, i am OTHER. The success of her Web series led to the development of a comedy series for HBO, known in 2015's pre-production as Insecure and co-created by The Nightly Show's Larry Wilmore. The show ran for five seasons, and Rae followed up with A Black Lady Sketch Show, while also producing other films and series under the name of HOORAE Media.
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