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ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood: Issa Rae's Perfectly Awkward And Hilarious Speech Is All Of Us

During the 10th anniversary ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood celebration, Vanguard Award honoree Issa Rae channeled all of her magic—the awkward, brilliant, humorous, radiant kind —to give a speech that brought joy to everyone in attendance.

Recognized for her incredible work in Hollywood thus far, including her web series, Awkward Black Girl, which was only the prequel to her amazing HBO sitcom, Insecure, the 32-year-old star accepted her award by reflecting on both her past and present in what she described as a “full-circle moment.”

“This is my favorite event to come to…it’s such a genuine real event, it’s the only one my publicist doesn’t have to force me to go to and it’s also the first event that I walked a red carpet."

Remarking on the first time she attended the ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood event four years ago when she was merely a YouTube star, she recalls receiving very little love on the red carpet and being hilariously overlooked for boxer Laila Ali. She goes on to explain that it was the small moments when a few of her favorite stars, like Sanaa Lathan, Niecy Nash and Vanessa Bell Calloway, that gave her the unspoken Black girl affirmation and acknowledgement she needed to be steadfast and hold on to her dreams.

Introduced by last year’s Legend Award recipient, Debbie Allen, Rae sang her praises before many of the Black women in her own life who have helped propel her to greatness.



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