2013 The Root 100
As the writer, creator, lead actress and chief fundraiser for the sly, gut-busting award-winning Web series The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl, Issa Rae also was able to write her own ticket. She made her bones by producing a show about a 20-something black woman who is socially awkward, universally relatable and hella funny. With more than 13 million viewers, the webisodes caught grass-roots fire, and ABG’s second season was entirely bankrolled by Pharrell Williams. This year, Rae signed on to co-write and star in a comedy series for HBO, and also inked a deal with Shonda Rhimes for a half-hour comedy on ABC. Just to keep it funky, the Senegalese-American maverick was named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30” and plans to release a book of memoirs and essays.