An homage to a self made black woman

Last December I decided to pay homage to a woman who validated and inspired me to become the most authentic and most awkward version of myself. Her work allows me to see myself and my life acted out in hilarious, cringe worthy scenarios, and because of that I’m more comfortable with who I am and how I interact with people today.

Since The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl debuted in 2011, Issa Rae has been a trailblazer in the TV and film industry, not only acting but also writing and producing award winning shows and movies worthy of our praise and her quick rise to fame. It’s not all about the money, however. Since her humble beginnings in the industry, Issa has committed to giving back to her community and ultimately giving back to black women. Offering us representation, shows that center around other women who look like us and think like us, and thought provoking content that challenges us to reconsider who we are and what we want out of life.

Because of her hard work and effort, Issa Rae is one of my role models. Someone who I look up to as my famous big sister, jumping for joy each time she reaches to new heights. So naturally, on my first trip to Los Angeles, I had to take an Insecure self guided tour!

Overall it was pretty simple to do some research and find out the names and locations of some of the places I wanted to see, then just setting up an itinerary for myself. I felt it was only right that I stayed in Inglewood, where the show primarily takes place. I found a cozy Airbnb where my host, Angela, went out of her way to make sure my stay was not only comfortable but luxurious! My room included a plush king size bed, a hot tub, and was within close driving distance to lots of entertainment. Did I mention it was only $60 a night?

On my self guided Insecure tour I visited The Dunes where it all began, then headed over to We Got Y’all, where Issa works in the show. For Dinner I went to Merkato, the incredible Ethiopian restaurant where Issa spent her birthday in season one and I can honestly say that it was some of the best Ethiopian cuisine I’ve had! The next day I brunched at the Commissary, a rooftop greenhouse cafe where Issa and Molly had lunch in season one. I got a mani/pedi from Market Nails, then treated myself to Randy’s Donuts which was well worth the calories. Before I left I even took a drive through Windsor Hills, and first of all, the scenery was great! Second of all, nobody in LA knows how to drive! I’m from Chicago, the best drivers in the country, so I would know. 

My self guided Insecure tour was so fun and educational. One thing I love about Issa is how positively she represented her community in the show. Nearly every place that the characters dined, went clubbing, worked, and even lived are real places in LA that live up to the hype that she placed on them in each episode. Some places were legitimate holes in the walls, while others required a reservation and money that I don’t have. It showed me how much Issa cares about her community and how she used the show as a way to give back to the places she loves. It also taught me so much about LA and all its vibrant neighborhoods. This was my first trip to California and thanks to Issa it was unforgettable.