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  • Issa Rae Sweetrocks Inspiring Woman

    Issa Rae Inspiring Woman

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    Issa Rae Sweetrocks Inspiring Woman

    Jo-Issa Rae Diop known as Issa Rae, is an American actress, writer, and producer. She first garnered attention for her work on the YouTube web series Awkward Black Girl. Since 2011, Rae has continued to develop her YouTube channel, which features various short films, web series, and other content created by people of color. She subsequently gained further recognition for creating, co-writing, and starring in the HBO television series Insecure. For her acting work on Insecure, she has received two Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy and a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Rae has released one memoir, titled The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. Rae co-starred in Little and had a supporting role in The Hate U Give. She has starred in two 2020 movies, the drama The Photograph and the romantic comedy The Lovebirds.

    Jo-Issa Rae Diop was born in Los Angeles, California. Her father, Dr. Abdoulaye Diop, is a pediatrician and neonatologist from Senegal, and her mother, Delyna Diop, is a teacher from Louisiana. Her parents met in France, when they were both in school. She has four siblings.

    The family lived in Dakar, Senegal, for a short period during her childhood. She was raised mostly in Potomac, Maryland. When Issa was in sixth grade, her family moved to View Park-Windsor Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, where she attended a predominantly black middle school. Diop graduated from King Drew Magnet High School of Medicine and Science, where she started acting. Her parents divorced when she was in high school.

    In 2007, Issa graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts in African and African-American Studies. As a college student, she made music videos, wrote and directed plays, and created a mock reality series called Dorm Diaries for fun. At Stanford, Diop met Tracy Oliver, who helped produce Awkward Black Girl and starred on the show as Nina.

    After college, she received a theater fellowship at The Public Theater in New York City. Oliver and Diop started taking classes together at the New York Film Academy. Diop worked odd jobs and at one point was struggling to decide between business school and law school, but eventually abandoned both ideas when Awkward Black Girl started taking off in 2011.

    Rae’s birth name, Jo-Issa, comes from a combination of the names of her grandmothers: Joyce and Isseu. Her middle name, Rae, is after an aunt, who was an artist.

    She is engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Louis Diame, a Senegalese businessman. Issa Rae first wore her engagement ring publicly on the cover of Essence magazine’s April 2019 issue.

    Thank you Issa Rae (#IssaRae) for being an Inspiring Woman!

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