From Awkward to All That and a Bag of Potato Chips: Issa Rae on Living the Dream

Today is the first Thursday in November. A lot of people are excited, some high off of the re-election of President Barack Obama, others just glad that the weekend is one more day away. But some are geared up for another reason all together: today marks another installment of season 2 of “The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl,” an internet comedy created and starring Issa Rae. Before the last episode dropped the ABG Facebook wall read like a drug addiction movie script – “grr..where’s the new episode? I feel like a crack head!”, “bitches be trippin’, where’s the new episode?! ;D” – and today’s release will likely be no different.  ABG’s fans have propelled the show to cult status.  Because of their support Rae was able to raise over $50,000 on Kickstarter to finance the show, and has drawn the attention of high profile supporters. They demand their ABG fix. They crave it.

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I clock her when she comes in. It’s Dream Day at Howard University and the room is full of people who, in some way or another, found a way to realize their dreams. She’s hard to miss in an electric blue blazer and silver earrings. Most of the other female panelists gain their height from killer heels, but Rae opts for shoes that are a bit less dramatic, as she is already one of the taller people in the room. The Young Dreamers Movement organized the event, with the intention of motivating students towards academic excellence by having them hear from speakers who have forged their own success. Issa Rae, then, is the perfect panelist.

Howard carefully arranged all manners of fancy finger foods (grilled Portobello mushrooms and peppers, crabcakes, fruits and cheeses) in preparation for the event. In every corner of the room young black creative types are listening and laughing and chatting, the atmosphere electric with – inspiration. Issa Rae is eating when I pounce on her.

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