Jo-Issa Rae Diop (born January 12, 1985), known as Issa Rae, is an American actress, writer, and producer. She first garnered attention for her work on the YouTube web series Awkward Black Girl. Since 2011, Rae has continued to develop her YouTube channel, which features various short films, web series, and other content created by people of color. She subsequently gained further recognition for creating, co-writing, and starring in the HBO television series Insecure. For her acting work on Insecure, she has received two Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy and a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Rae has released one memoir, titled The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. Rae co-starred in the comedy Little and the drama The Hate U Give and has starred in two 2020 movies, the drama The Photograph and the romantic comedy The Lovebirds.
Jo-Issa Rae Diop was born in Los Angeles, California. Her father, Dr. Abdoulaye Diop, is a pediatrician and neonatologist from Senegal, and her mother, Delyna Diop (née Hayward), is a teacher from Louisiana. Her parents met in France when they were both in school. She has four siblings. Her father has a medical practice in Inglewood, California.