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Book Review: The Misadventures of The Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

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The Misadventures of The Awkward Black Girl

Source: Issa Rae

Plot Summary: Issa Rae, creator of the hit web-series The Misadventures of The Awkward Black Girldiscusses her life while giving advice to those who are awkward.

My Review: One of the best things about this book is how honest and relatable it is. Issa Rae recalls awkward moments that anyone can relate to, such as not being able to dance and becoming comfortable with eating by yourself. In fact, she is so honest that she shows the same wry sense of humor found in the web series for which this book is named. A favorite line that made me laugh out loud was “If I could go back in time and slap all the idiocy out my mouth, I would be a busy time-traveler.”

Besides its honesty and relatability, the book also gives solid advice on things like how to deal with different types of co-workers and how to deal with questions and statements about your hair. The advice is practical and a good mix of serious and humorous. For instance, one of the responses to the question “How did you get your hair like that?” is the coy response, “I woke up like this.”

In addition to the advice and humor, Issa Rae also has her serious moments. Much of it is poignant, especially when she discusses her family. At the same time, her serious moments are also inspirational, especially when she reveals a couple of life-changing revelations that would led to the creation of the Awkward Black Girl web series. One revelation that gives the reader something to think about is the need for diverse representation in the media.

Overall, this was a funny and comforting book. I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the web series The Misadventures of The Awkward Black Girl.

Written by Serena Zola

February 17, 2015 at 9:07 PM

My Favorite Web Series and Movies I’ve Seen in 2014

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I’ve seen quite a few films this year and the first season of a certain web series. Here are my favorites!

Web Series: The Misadventures of The Awkward Black Girl (Season 1)- While there are actually two seasons of the show available, I stopped at season 1 because I didn’t want to be disappointed that there would be no more episodes to watch after Season 2. All the episodes are funded through Kickstarter and either there are no more episodes that are going to be made or they haven’t gotten funding to make more episodes yet.

Anyway, I gave Season 1 a chance after hearing about this show on sites like Black Girl Nerds and Afropunk. I am so glad that I did, because this is the first time I have seen someone like me in a show. By someone like me, I mean an awkward yet quirky woman of color. This show is honest and very funny. I found myself laughing out loud  and smiling at every episode. If you haven’t seen this series, then check out the episodes on the show’s site.


Slam (1998)– This became my favorite poetry film ever. Not only does it have great slam poetry, but it also teaches the value of hip-hop and that you don’t have to be a part of a cycle of violence and revenge to get by. As a poet, this film inspired one or two poems I wrote this year and showed me the value of using homonyms. This film also helped me appreciate hip-hop more, because I barely listened to it until this year.

Stormy Weather (1943)– This classic blues and jazz film has become a favorite music film of mine. It features four of my favorite things: tap dancing, Cab Calloway, and blues and jazz. This film introduced me to the legendary tap dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and the lovely Lena Horne. There is so much talent in this film that it is impossible not to enjoy the performances.

Cab Calloway’s Hi-Di-Ho (1934)- This short film is one of many short films that Cab Calloway did in his prime. This one is my favorite because you see him dance and sing live and provide a little humor at the end. I also liked that this film also doubled as an advertisement for radio, which was a fairly new product at the time.  View the short film on YouTube here.

The First Grader (2010)– This film made really appreciate the free grade school education I have gotten in the United States and made me think about the current state of education in America. I also liked that they told the true story that inspired the film in such a raw and realistic light.

P!nk’s The Truth About Love Tour: Live from Melbourne (2013)– As a huge fan of P!nk, I was very happy to see this concert film on Netflix. I’ve seen some fan shot videos of certain performances on YouTube, but it was awesome to see the entire tour. P!nk sings live while doing acrobatics, dancing, or just sitting or standing.

My favorite performances were “Raise Your Glass”, “Try”, “Time After Time”, “Fuckin’ Perfect”, “Can’t Take Me Home Medley (“Most Girls”, “You Make Me Sick”, “There You Go”, ), and “Sober”. The only thing I didn’t like were the excessive camera angles. The concert film is still available to watch on Netflix.

Big Hero 6 (2014)– When I originally saw the previews for the film, I thought it wasn’t going to be good. Then, somebody from my college’s anime club  posted about how good it was. After that, I found out that the film was inspired by Japanese anime and Japanese pop culture and I decided to give the film a chance.

As it turns out, the film was awesome. Since I lost my father two years ago, I could totally relate to the film’s main character Hiro Hamada when he lost his brother Tadashi. I also loved how diverse the main characters were and how they were all geeks.

Of course, I also loved that the film was inspired by Japanese anime and Japanese pop culture. Also, Baymax has become my favorite animated sidekick because of how he helped Hiro work through his grief, how awesome his special abilities are, and how funny he was when he learned how to do Hiro’s handshake.










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