Rae’s first chapter in Hollywood is the stuff of lore. She came bursting into our living rooms in 2016 as the creator, writer and star of the HBO comedy “Insecure.” An instant hit, the series went on to become a defining television show for a generation of Black viewers thirsty for representation. And fans didn’t just watch episodes; they live-tweeted and debated topics from sexual fluidity and outgrowing friendships to open marriages and the “break baby” Issa’s love interest Lawrence had during their breakup. They also learned the songs from the soundtracks, bought the outfits, tried the hairstyles and Instagrammed themselves at all of the South Los Angeles locations from their favorite episodes. By the end of the second season, Rae had become one of the most sought-after celebrities in the industry, and “Insecure” was more than a show — it was culture.
“There’s an expectation people have that you need to keep up with their lives on social media, and it's like, ‘No, you’ve got to talk to me.”
— Issa Rae
Writer: Sylvia Obell
Sylvia Obell is an entertainment journalist whose relatable and entertaining approach to news has made her a valued rising voice in culture. She is the co-host of Okay, Now Listen, a podcast in collaboration with Netflix's Strong Black Lead. Her reporting career includes viral culture takes like “How Blac Chyna Beat The Kardashians at Their Own Game” and interviews with the likes of Gabrielle Union, Shonda Rhimes, Issa Rae, Lakeith Stanfield, and more. She's also penned cover stories on Zendaya, Lizzo, and Kehlani. In addition, she has provided on-camera commentary and hosted live conversations for major brands like ABC, BET, CBS News, BBC, Netflix, H&M, and Universal Pictures. She is an alum of North Carolina A&T State University and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism who lives in Los Angeles, CA.
Photographer: Raven B. Varona
Raven B. Varona also known as "RavieB" is a photographer born and raised in The Bronx, NY. She began her photography career shooting concerts and events in downtown New York. Capturing these important cultural moments sparked her photography career. Her work is intimate and colorful. She prioritizes the subject from a very feminine perspective. When looking at her photos, she wants you to feel a familiarity between her and her subjects.
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