On being an Awkward Black Girl

clark middle school

I think when it comes to black girls and women, society has this preconceived notion about who we are supposed to be. This stereotype has the greatest disservice to those of us, I would argue the majority of us, who do not fit that mold. We are supposed to be strong, loud, and opinionated when some of us, like myself, consider ourselves awkward black girls because we don’t fit into these self-limiting roles. In 2011, we were blessed with a youtube series known as “The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl” by Issa Rae which showed us black women in a more authentic light.  Issa Rae proved to us that it was okay to not fit into what society defined as a black woman.

I swear I am Issa Rae’s biggest fan right now because I follow her on all her social media outlets and I also read her autobiography which has the same title as her youtube series. I would strongly recommend reading her autobiography because it helps you understand Issa Rae’s awkwardness better. I totally connected with the fact that she grew up in Senegal and the U.S. as I migrated to the U.S in the 4th grade which was a totally awkward experience especially with people not understanding my accent and me not understanding theirs. Similar to Issa, I never knew how to do the popular dances like the “Superman” which is a let down cause “black people are supposed to know all the cool dances”. To this day, my go to dance is the cupid shuffle because all the steps are outlined in the song which makes it quite simple to follow.

I also related to the awkward relationship phase that Issa went through where she thought she had to cheat in a relationship because she assumed the guy would cheat on her.  (I had a similar love defense mechanism which I talked about in my post “still searching”). Issa’s cheating behavior is brought up in her now HBO syndicated series renamed “Insecure” (probably to not pigeon hole the show with the name Awkward Black Girl but I ain’t mad at her hustle). If you haven’t followed the series, do yourself a favor and get on it (even if you have to mooch with friends that do have HBO). I am so proud of Issa’s journey as it goes to show that black women who do not fit into society’s misconceived stereotypes can still make it by being true to themselves.


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