Future Black History Month: Issa Rae Is 'Awkward,' 'Insecure' & Unstoppable

Future Black History Month: Issa Rae Is 'Awkward,' 'Insecure' & Unstoppable

FUSE TV - Future Black History Month: Issa Rae Is 'Awkward,' 'Insecure' & Unstoppable

Fuse is once again celebrating an extended Black History Month by looking at a variety of rising forces who are creating Future Black History before our eyes. Today we're talking about Issa Rae, who in 2016 turned years of multiplatform success into a hit HBO comedy, Insecure, which features her as co-creator, executive producer, star and writer. It took its place on Fuse's Best New TV Series of 2016 list with ease.

Jo-Issa Rae Diop, 32, was born in L.A. to a teacher mom from Louisiana and a Sengalese doctor dad; one chapter in her memoir, the 2015 New York Times best-seller The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, is called "Halfrican." The book shares a title with the beloved, outrageous web series Rae launched in 2011. From that point on, Rae ceaselessly demonstrated how to be an internet content innovator and mogul, bending Kickstarter, celebrity collaborations (Pharrell, Shonda Rhimes), podcasts and social media all in service of her far-reaching mission. 

Rae launched Color Creative TV in 2014 to "increase opportunities for women and minority TV writers to showcase and sell their work, both inside and outside the existing studio system." At the time, she told Ebony about the need to subvert Hollywood's problematic precedents:

“A lot of these diversity initiatives staff writers to a television show and pay them separately through a diversity salary. Everyone knows they’re the affirmative action diversity hire, which is kind of embarrassing. They’re not given the respect that other staffers get. ... I predict that Netflix absorbs people of color. I can also see a solid BET of the future online, where the content of people of color is its own network.”

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