Inglewood native Issa Rae has become a household name, captivating audiences with her humor and groundbreaking work. Born on Jan. 12, 1985, Rae has carved an inspiring path from her humble beginnings to becoming a prominent Hollywood figure.

Issa’s creative spark led her to graduate from Stanford University in 2007 where she majored in African-American Studies. In college, she honed her storytelling skills and developed a passion for creating content that reflected the authenticity she felt was lacking in mainstream media.

After the success of her web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” in 2011, Rae gained widespread recognition for her relatable and humorous take on the Black experience. The series not only resonated with viewers but also opened doors for her in the entertainment industry.

The web series inspired her 2015 memoir of the same name, “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.” In her memoir, Rae says “Challenge the status quo and carve out your own path,” capturing the essence of embracing individuality. In a society filled with norms and expectations, it’s easy to lose oneself, however, Rae emphasizes that genuine growth comes from questioning established norms.

By embracing our unique perspectives and talents, we navigate our own journeys without being restricted by societal expectations. Armed with courage and determination, we have the power to redefine the norm and open doors to new possibilities. Rae’s words are a rallying cry, urging us to liberate ourselves from the confines of the status quo and lead with authenticity and unshakable confidence.

Rae also co-created, wrote and starred in the critically acclaimed HBO hit series, “Insecure.” The show ran for six seasons and became one of the first HBO MAX originals to stream on rival platforms Netflix and Hulu. The show explores the complexities of friendship, love and race. It garnered critical acclaim and numerous accolades. Rae’s authentic storytelling and commitment to showcasing diverse narratives made her a trailblazer in Hollywood.

Off screen, Rae’s unapologetic personality resonates with her young adult audience. She has been at the forefront of sparking crucial conversations about equality and racial justice within the entertainment industry.

Along with multiple Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy Award nominations, Rae was recognized at the NAACP Image Awards and won a Peabody Award for Excellence in Storytelling and Representation.

She acted in movies “The Hate U Give” and “Little” and voiced a character in the animated film “Hair Love.” Other projects she’s worked on include “Rapsh!t” on HBO MAX. Beyond acting, Issa Rae is the founder and CEO of Hoorae Media, formerly known as Issa Rae Productions. Rae actively champions projects that amplify underrepresented voices.

Upon receiving the first-ever Emerging Entrepreneur Award at the 2019 Women In Film Annual Gala, Rae amused the crowd with an unexpected speech. After addressing how women are conditioned to be humble she redesigned her speech to purposefully lack humility, taking inspiration from hip-hop artists she listened to growing up. Rae addressed the audience, “Entrepreneur means: I did that shit by myself.” Then said to her team, “Y’all some suckers. Y’all stuck around me, even though I could’ve done this without you, let’s be real.” She concluded with, “Entrepreneur till I die, I deserve this. Bye.”

Rae’s impact is unique as she shows Black women’s identities in the media outside of traditional tropes. “Insecure” allows the audience to peer into the good and bad of the Black girl experience. Putting herself on display, Rae shows every part of her life even when it’s painfully embarrassing or personal. Issa Rae is the representation Black girls and women have been looking for and the media never knew it needed.

As Issa Rae continues to evolve as a multifaceted talent, her journey provides inspiration for aspiring creators that even an awkward Black girl breaks down barriers in Hollywood. From her childhood in South LA to the heights of Hollywood, Issa Rae remains a force to be reckoned with, shaping the narrative and paving the way for a more diverse and inclusive entertainment landscape.

At the 2017 Emmys Awards, Rae declared, “I’m rooting for everybody Black,” setting the tone for a career that celebrates diversity and authenticity within the entertainment industry.