All Articles Tagged "issa rae"
Everyone knows that YouTube is the one place you can find it all – puppy videos, makeup tutorials, educational information – but one of the best parts about is all the comedy you can find. After a tough day at work a foolish video may be exactly what you need to cheer up. Here are some of our YouTube favorites that keep us rolling with laughter.
Earlier this month, Issa Rae told us how her mom shut down her “Michelle Obama Diaries” project. It looks like the project survived her mom’s low approval rating. During last night’s presidential debate, Issa released the project starring Yakira Chambers as the First Lady. When asked if her mom finally approved, Issa tweeted, “LOL! I didn’t show her this time….” In the premiere episode, the “First Lady” shares her feelings on the President’s first debate performance, inappropriate press conference questions, and best of all, TV shows.
Check out “Mrs. O” keepin’ it real in her diary.
In the first episode of the web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” creator Issa Rae’s character claims that the worse thing anyone can be is black and awkward, simultaneously. Whether that’s true or not is up for debate. But, if Rae’s YouTube views are any indication, awkward Blackness is a more common condition than once thought.
Any awkward girl can tell you, the workplace is ripe with opportunity for the condition to make itself known. Cringe-worthy moments are waiting around every cubicle corner. Fear not. Just because you’re awkward, doesn’t mean your coworkers have to know. Master the scenarios below and you’ll maneuver through the office like a social butterfly.
Scenario #1 – Unexpected Alone Time
You call yourself being a good employee and busting down hundreds of years of stereotypes when you stroll into the conference room on time for your meeting. You find only one other strange soul shares your punctuality. Your thirstiness has been rewarded with being forced to fill silence with a person you never intended to say more than hello to.
Luckily, being a good conversationalist requires good listening skills more than anything. “Most socially confident people deliberately learn specific skills, like understanding the predictable format of a conversation with new people, and focusing on the topic rather than on how one is being perceived,” according to Erika Casriel, writing in Psychology Today. Put the pressure of being entertaining on the other person. Focus on being interested (or feigning interest) in what the other person is saying.
Scenario #2 – Attack of the Personal Space Invaders
You feel like your coworker is getting a little too close for comfort. Or maybe, your boss routinely mistakes your hair for a Shih Tzu that welcomes petting from strangers. We all want to be friendly, but we also all have boundaries that we prefer not be crossed. For your own peace of mind, learn how to put people in their place, nicely.
The key to maintaining personal space is making sure everyone knows where boundaries begin and end. None of your coworkers are mind readers, so bring unacceptable behavior to their attention and let them know why you are asking them to adjust. The trick is to pull off your truth telling pleasantly and firmly. It’s a balance that may take some practice, but a smile goes a long way.
Scenario #3 – Odd Girl Out
You thought you left cliques behind in high school, but your office culture has an established hierarchy, and you are peasant status. Cliques form for a variety of reasons and most of the time they are not malicious. People with similar interests and personalities and those that work in close proximity gravitate toward each other. Don’t take it personally.
One way to penetrate a clique is to take up an interest common to the group. If company kickball isn’t your style, try a one-on-one approach. “If a group of people [isn't] including you, try to develop a relationship with each person individually,” said Julie Jansen, author of You Want Me To Work With Who?. Jansen says people are more open to new friendships when you approach them individually. Instead of tagging along with the group, ask one person to grab coffee with you.
Scenario #4 – F.M.L.
You managed to make it from home to the office without noticing the toilet paper stuck on the back of your pants. Or your boss randomly chooses you as the object of his displaced divorce rage. A truly awkward individual knows that social situations are not always to blame for life’s cringe-worthy moments. Sometimes life conspires against you. When life hands you lemons, make f*** it lemonade.
Humans have a knack for making situations worse by forcing themselves to relive an embarrassing moment over and over. The sooner you let it go and laugh about it, the sooner everyone will move on. Even better, being embarrassed can make people like you more. Researchers at UC Berkeley have discovered that being embarrassed—or even just acting embarrassed—convinces others that you’re more trustworthy.
Issa Rae Talks About Taking It Back To Senegal and Reveals Her Favorite Ratchet Reality Show Right Now
Did you know that Awkward Black Girl Issa Rae produces her brother’s webseries? Did you know she was Senegalese? Since we love this trailblazer so much, we had to hit ya’ll up with part two of our interview in which she talks about doing a webseries related to her African roots, her favorite reality ratchet shows, and how her traditional father is reacting to her success.
Check out part 1 of our interview here
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Heyyyy Awkward Black Girl! Issa Rae Talks Next Moves and Explains How Her Mama Put A Stop To Her Michelle O Project
It’s no secret that we are huge fans of “Awkward Black Girl” so we were super excited about having Issa Rae stop by the Madame Noire offices last week to update us on what she’s been up to. Needless to say, she’s been up to a whole lot. She talks about her new series “I Hate LA Dudes,” meeting Shonda Rhimes, how Pharell got involved with ABG, and who she is “thirsty” to work with. Check out part one of our interview with Mrs. ABG.
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For the people of Awkward Nation, it’s been a long wait. But it’s finally over. Issa Rae, the mastermind behind the series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” and her castmates are back for a second season of hilarity. This time Rae has teamed up with Pharrell Williams’ iamOTHER network.
We know you’re excited to see how J and White Jay are getting along, if she’s been able to remain cool with Fred and what new rhymes J and Cee Cee have created. All the answers to these questions and more will be answered in the first episode. Check it out below.
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If you have been missing “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” since the season finale where J picked White J as her man, met Donald Glover and got a new crazy boss, then no need to be sad any longer. Creator Issa Rae, who also plays the hilariously awkward J, premiered a trailer for the new season, which is premiering on June 14. In the trailer, Rae recounts season one and all the drama that came with it, but does so in hysterical and lyrical fashion. Her TWA is a bit bigger and her rhymes are still crazy. And in it she also shouts out all the stereotypes of black folks you see on screen that she is not: “Not a basketball wife, not a n***a in a dress, not a sassy fat b***h, not a hot s****y mess, I’m awkward and blaaaaack…” Pharrell then stops in to give her the side eye and make her feel even more awkward. But let me not give it all away. Check out the trailer and let us know your thoughts.
Excited for the new season?
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Awkward really isn’t the word to describe some of the responses Issa Rae, creator of the Awkward Black Girl web series, received in response to her Shorty Award win the other night. Ignorant might be more applicable.
Shorty Awards recognize the best in social web across all forms of media from Twitter to Facebook, Tumblr, and YouTube, and when ABG won for best webshow, some weren’t too happy that a black woman took the top prize and tweeted things like this:
Another person wrote, “of course the black one wins. F*** the Shorty Awards,” while another tweeter suggested the win was “#Fixed PC bulls***” because at the time voting closed, another runner in the competition, Anthony Cumia, was reportedly in the lead.
As you can see, Issa brushed the race hate off her back and celebrated the victory as it was supposed to be, but this situation along with the backlash to The Hunger Games this weekend is really starting to make me question the idea of preferring to know someone is racist outright versus wanting them to keep their hate to themselves.
For now I’ll just let Issa’s words comfort me while I contemplate this foolishness: “Racists haaaaaate me, I’m on my OJ. #ABGNation”
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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Let’s be honest, black women have been brushed aside in the comedy world forever. We just don’t seem to get the same respect as our male counterparts. However, it’s nice to see that there are ladies out there, on television, in web-series’, or doing stand-up comedy where they can prove that black women are indeed funny.
While everyone’s waiting for the next Chappelle’s Show to come around (by Dave or anyone else that could be his replacement), wouldn’t it be great if it was by a woman?
Here’s my list of funny black women doing their thing right now, low and high on everyone’s radar:
Just off the wheels of her successful turn hosting Saturday Night Live this past weekend, Maya Rudolph proved that she is a very funny woman.
Though she is technically bi-racial and doesn’t always portray a black woman, she still does play a lot of black characters. But that’s to her advantage because she is able to impersonate multiple characters of all different backgrounds (anyone else seeing her do Christina Aguilera?) and kill while doing so. Just this past weekend alone she played First Lady Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, and Maya Angelou just to name a few. She also stars on the show Up All Night on NBC, where she plays an Oprah-esque talk show host.
So on Friday I caught the season finale of the web series Awkward Black Girl and it was all right. I admit that I am a little bit biased as I wanted to see J choose neither of the guys and opt for singlehood, but nevertheless it was a fun series.
I remember the first time I fell in love with the show. The main character J was at work and found herself in the hallway; again, with a new coworker she had already said “hi” to early in the day. “Should I say hi again? She knows I’m here,” J says in the internal dialogue she’s having with herself. After playing out different scenarios in her head on how to avoid the awkwardness of the double “hello,” the new hire pretends to read an eye chart. J, enthusiastically runs over to the girl and says, “Wait, you’re awkward too?”
I have had those moments and several others mentioned in the series. In fact, the hallway scene seems so familiar to my own interactions with people that I actually contemplated suing her for unauthorized use of my life’s funny moments.
There are a lot of folks that can relate to being the nerdy, geeky, and most definitely goofy black girl in a world where being Black is often equated with coolness. However to be awkward and black means a lot more than dancing to the beat of your own drum. And it is more than dressing differently or the taste of music one may have.
I’m here to tell you that there is an entire group of folks, who despite their normal appearance, fail daily at normal day interactions with other folks. For example, these folks show up way too early for parties and stay way too late; they don’t know how to tell a waiter that they got the order wrong so they begrudgingly eat it; they’re unaware of very basic social graces like smiling and shaking hands or even saying “hello.” Sometimes they give the appearance of having abrasive personalities and are known for saying things that are both rude and inconsiderate. This might explain why Issa Rae, the star and creator of the web series, gets into funny standoffs over staplers, tries awkwardly to hold conversations at parties and writes hilarious X-rated raps in her bedroom.
I come from a long line of socially impaired people. My grandma is virtually a hermit, not because of health issues, but because she decided a few decades ago that she had enough of socializing and retreated to the comforts of her kitchen, where she sits days on end, watching TV and reading newspapers and magazine. My uncle has a tendency in normal conversations to break out in sound effects like the guy from Police Academy. And the funny part is he doesn’t know that he does it. And my mother, well, she has always had difficulty maintaining close relationships to the point that I haven’t heard from her in more than a year.
With that kind of legacy I’m surprised that my younger brother and I managed to function in life as well as we have. He and I have contested that we are not as socially awkward as the rest of the clan. However, the truth is that I tend to be very awkward around people. In general, I am a very reserved person, who likes to spend time alone. I go eat in restaurants alone, I go to the movies by myself and I also travel alone. In those chance encounters where I am forced to interact with people, I tend to fade into the background in environments and amuse myself by watching other people “have fun.” When I do open up to folks, I tend to say things so abruptly that it comes off as rude or dismissive. This usually leads to arguments and near-fights. Oh, and I have a tendency to flat out lie to people with big personalities. I once blurted out to a girl, who was going on and on about her aura (don’t ask), that I had written a Hollywood script. Of course, I hadn’t. And I don’t know why I said it. In retrospect, I think I just wanted her to shut up. Awkward.
And those, who can get past my abrupt ways, are then turned off by my encyclopedic knowledge of every topic under the sun as well as my ability to treat every conversation on whatever topic as a mini-debate. I mean nobody likes a know-it-all, right? Likewise, I get overly excited when discussing things like books. I really like books. And I treat movies and music as things to be studied, not necessarily enjoyed. Those sorts of personality traits get me a lot of side-eyes from potential female friends and the brush off from male suitors. However, while most people rely a lot for their self-esteem on being good at socializing, I would be lying if I didn’t say that I kind of relish in being awkward. Sure my clumsiness can be uncomfortable for most people, however, for the few friends – and I mean all two of them – it can be quite fun and entertaining.
There was a time when I had worried a lot about my social inadequacies. Those few years were some of the most paranoid and anxiety-ridden times in my life. But as I got older and began to embrace my little intricacies, I began to realize that real life isn’t about fitting into the normal stereotype of what society considers “normal.” It’s about accepting yourself for who you truly are and letting the chips fall where they may. And like J on ABG, I am quirky, clumsy, sarcastic and at times insecure. But like J, I have good friends, all two of ‘em, and I’m someone who knows how to to laugh at myself and occasionally get the guy.
Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.
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