Thursday, September 25, 2014

Embrace Your Awkward

Welcome to A More Diverse Universe! Check out the link for a description of the event and tons of reviews from other bloggers.  Thanks again, Aarti!

I love it when reading serendipity happens, like when I'm doing an event like this and Netgalley offers me a copy of Issa Rae's new memoir, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. It's the like the stars are aligned.  And it's double awesome because then it gave me the opportunity to fall down the Issa Rae rabbit hole with episodes of her Awkward Black Girl web series, which is just so on the nose uncomfortable.  Brenda, you have to watch the episode in season one called The Hallway.

This is a memoir of growing up awkward and black, and like a lot of the memoirs that I enjoy, it hinges way more on her ability to tell a good anecdote than on her out-of-the-ordinary life.  Issa Rae moved around a lot growing up, and spent a good deal of time in her father's home country of Senegal, but other than that, her life is a fairly typical American life of her time.

Issa presents this wonderful combination of being very awkward and yet very comfortable with herself.  Or maybe it just seems that way because I'm even more awkward than she is, which is entirely possible.  She went to Stanford, got involved in theater, took some time off to study filmmaking.  She had boyfriends and lots of friends in college.  In high school, her awkward was of a more typical variety--she was the only girl who couldn't dance, and then goofed up by bragging about her dancing skills.  Things like that, the stories we all have, but just told in a way that's hilarious.

There are some interesting things to think about in here; she was on AOL as a preteen, getting into chat rooms way over her head.  She grew up in a golden age of black television, when you could watch The Cosby Show or Family Matters and see a family like yours, and she has a lot to say about the decline in the media presence of the black middle class.  Having then gone out and found her web series, I think I'm going to be watching some more web series--after I finish mainlining all of the Awkward Black Girl content that's out there.  ABG forever!


Lindsey said...

This is my first time hearing about Issa, but it sounds like a funny read. Do you know if the book is still up on Netgalley?

LibraryHungry said...

Yup! I just got it earlier this week and I already totally want to be her BFF.

Christy (A Good Stopping Point) said...

I've seen at least the first 'season' of Awkward Black Girl and I think a little beyond that and enjoyed it. Didn't know that Issa Rae had a book out.

Aarti said...

Wow, I've never heard of this series or the person, but this sounds lovely - great review! Yay for serendipity :-)