Issa Rae and Pop Culture Fashbacks [VIDEO]

Awkward Black Girl2


Identifying with Issa Rae’s character in The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl means also relating to things that give you purpose, meaning and uplifting. Nothing gets you moving more than songs that add a little pep to your step.

Inside, we take on excerpts from this month’s good read and pair them with lyrics that easily shine light on all the wonderful parts of you through song.


J says:

 “My name is “J” and I’m awkward—and black. Someone once told me those were the two worst things anyone could be. That someone was right. Where do I start?”


Dead Prez “The Beauty Within”

“Down to earth like greens and cornbread
She don’t need no weaves or contacts
Not judging other girls that got that
Im just sayin’ you’re the truth never doubt that”



J says:

“Girls, New Girl, 2 Broke Girls. What do they all have in common? The universal gender classification, “girl,” is white. In all three of these successful series, a default girl (or two) is implied and she is white. That is the norm and that is what is acceptable. Anything else is niche.” 

India Arie “I Am Not My Hair”

“At the turn of the century
Its time for us to redefine who we be
You can shave it off
Like a South African beauty…
Its not what’s on your head
Its what’s underneath and say HEY….”


J says:

“Being an introvert in a world that glorifies cool isn’t easy.”

Mary J Blige “Work That”

“Just because the length of the your hair aint long
And they often criticize you for your skin tone
Go on and hold your head high cause you a pretty woman
Get your runway stride home and keep it goin’
Girl live your life”



J says:

“I love being black; that’s not a problem. The problem is that I don’t want to always talk about it because honestly, talking about being “black” is extremely tiring. I don’t know how Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson do it. I know why Cornel West and Tavis Smiley do it. They love the attention and the groupies. But the rest of these people who talk, think and breathe race every single day – how? Just how? Aren’t they exhausted?”

Talib Kweli featuring Jean Grae “Black Girl Pain”

“My mama said life would be so hard
Growin up days as a black girl scarred
In so many ways though we’ve come so far…
So please hold your heads up high
Don’t be ashamed of yourself know I
Will carry it forth ‘til the day I die
They just know the name they don’t know the pain black girl”



J says:

 “Food is my destination, my journey, my reward, my friend – if only my metabolism matched that of the skinny, crackhead-bodied girls of my high school. How lucky they were!”

TLC “Unpretty”

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make
But if you can’t look inside you
Find out who am I too
Be in the position to make me feel so
Damn unpretty
(Yeah) I’ll make you feel unpretty too

Never insecure until I met you
Now I’m bein’ stupid
I used to be so cute to me
Just a little bit skinny
Why do I look to all these things
To keep you happy
Maybe get rid of you and then I’ll get back to me (hey)


J says:

 “Having divorced parents, going to school in Compton (although i experienced elementary and middle school in Compton, but went to a nerdy high school in Carson), struggling with my weight, embracing my tomboy tendencies, and not fitting in at 9-to-5 jobs.”

Salt-N-Peppa “Expression”

there ain’t nobody
Like my body, yes, I’m somebody
No, I’m sorry, I’m-a rock this Mardis Gras
Until the party ends, friends
Yes, I’m blessed, and I know who I am
I express myself on every jam
I’m not a man, but I’m in command
Hot damn, I got an all-girl band
And I wear the gear, yeah, I wanna wear it, too
I don’t care, dear, go ahead and stare (oooo)
Afraid to be you, livin’ in fear (boo)
Expression is rare, I dare you



For more on Issa Rae: visit here

The following two tabs change content below.
"...I have one of those VERY LOUD, stupid laughs. If I ever sat behind myself in a movie I'd probably lean over and tell myself to please shut up." - Author, JD Salinger

Latest posts by Ben Wills (see all)

%d bloggers like this: