Issa Rae Diop, an American actress, writer, director, producer and web series creator was born on January 12, 1985 in Los Angeles, California to Dr. Abdoulaye Diop, a pediatric doctor from Senegal, and Delyna Diop, is a teacher from Louisiana. She has four siblings.
Rae graduated from King Drew Magnet High School of Medicine and Science, where she started began acting. In 2007, she graduated from Stanford University with a major in African and African-American Studies. As a college student, she was very creative and she used her talent to make music videos, write and direct plays. She even created a mock reality series called Dorm Diaries for fun.
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After college, Rae received a theater fellowship at The Public Theater in New York City. She later did some odd jobs while trying to make a decision on choosing between business school and law school.
Then in 2011, Awkward Black Girl premiered on YouTube, a story told through first-person narrative as “J”(Rae) usually reveals how she feels about her circumstances through voice-over or dream sequence. at some point, it became difficult for her to fund the rest of the first season, Rae and producer Tracy Oliver decided to raise money for the series through Kickstarter. On August 11, 2011 they were awarded $56,269 from 1,960 donations and released the rest of season one on Rae’s YouTube channel.
Using YouTube as her forum, Rae was able to have sovereignty of her work since she writes, films, produces, and edits all of her work. Rae’s other shows—Ratchet Piece Theater, The “F” Word, Roomie lover friends, and The Choir, among others. She is also the Executive Producer and Writer of 8 episodes of the popular TV series “Insecure” which she also featured in.
As a writer, she has also written articles especially the popular one titled “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” which was released in 2015.