#BeEmpowered “The more comfortable you are with your truth, the more comfortable you will be with your voice.” – Issa Rae

by Duchess Magazine
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Issa Rae's success story

Actress, writer, producer extraordinaire, and business magnet Issa Rae is insecure no more!!

Multiple hit flicks, a staggering $4 million net worth (talk racking in cool cash from insecure, launching her production company, launching a record label with Atlanta Records, her multiple business ventures, including inking a deal with Converse for her sneaker line -“Issa Rae By You, ”etc), a proud recipient of numerous prestigious awards and accolades, multi-hyphenate Issa Rae, 36, has warmed hearts all thanks to her authentic infectious humour, relatability and unapologetic passion for uplifting culture and yes, it’s no surprise she’s cemented her place.

Born in California in 1985 to a father, a doctor from Senegal, and mother, a schoolteacher, she alongside four siblings were raised in Maryland, at age 12 along with her family Rae migrated to Los Angeles. Her parents divorced when was in High school.

Rae caught up on her passion quite early and while in grade school, she began honing her skills, writing short stories and plays in grade school, with preference for the director’s chair, the script flipped a bit in fifth grade during the production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, this would be her very first onstage acting gig.

The award winner later proceeded to the predominantly white Stanford University, where she studied African and African-American studies. While in college, the multitalented act made music videos, wrote and directed plays, as well as created a mock reality series called Dorm Diaries which was woven around the experience of being black at Stanford. Years rolled by after graduation from college in 2007 and within that period she juggled odd jobs and tried to navigate her way. Along the line, a flicker of light shone when she created a promising short film collective online, but all hope was squashed when all thanks to an apartment robbery, all her film equipment stolen. Rae had to move back to L.A. shortly after, but by 2011, her YouTube series, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, where she starred as lead rubbed on big on audiences, this would serve as a major turning point, this breakout series ultimately establishing her as a force. Just a year later Rae landed on Forbes’ annual 30 Under 30 in 2012, and also won the best web series the same year at the Shorty Award.

In 2013 she began working on her critically acclaimed beloved HBO dramedy, Insecure” where she starred as a contemporary black 20-something in L.A. It premiered in 2016 becoming an instant hit, earning her two Golden Globe nominations an Emmy nod since her series’ 2016 premiere, garnering several awards, since then, there’s been no looking back.

Rae’s first book, a memoir titled The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, released in 2015 became a New York Times best-seller.

She’s so no slowing down, in March 2021, Rae’s production company, Hoorae, signed a five-year film and television deal with WarnerMedia.

The screen sensation has since launched into film work, starring in flicks like “The Hate U Give” and “Little,” “The Photograph”, “The Lovebirds,” and “Little.”

Rae is also a proud recipient of the NAACP Award, BET Award, Peabody Award, and Satellite Award. She is the first black woman to host the Council of Fashion Designers of America awards.

Issa Rae might be cracking ribs on-screen but make no mistake, she is a core hard worker, always thinking of the next line of action:

I’m “always thinking about work.” She even estimates that she has about 22 projects in development overall. “I was always like this,” she says. “[In the past] it was like, ‘I need to work to make sure I have the means of affording a place to live.’ [Or], ‘This didn’t work, what’s the next thing I can do?’ I think that’s just how my mind works. That’s Capricorn s**t. Workaholic s**t.”

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