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YouTube’s “Awkward Black Girl” to play Nina Simone in new movie

Issa Rae has made the rare jump from YouTube star to Hollywood actress.


Fidel Martinez


Issa Rae has made the rare jump from YouTube star to Hollywood actress.

It was announced on Wednesday that Rae, creator of the YouTube comedy series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, will be playing acclaimed avant-jazz songstress Nina Simone in an upcoming film about Lorraine Hansberry.

Hansberry was a black playwright who gained prominence thanks to A Raisin in the Sun, a play that was largely based on her family’s experience in segregated Chicago. She was also best friends with Simone. Hansberry will be portrayed by her granddaughter Taye Hansberry. Also joining the cast is Jaleel White, who is best known for his role of Steve Urkel in the TGIF sitcom Family Matters. White will depict black intellectual James Baldwin.

The casting is the latest in a string of good news for Rae. In June 2012, musician Pharrell Williams fully funded season 2 of her Shorty Award-winning series. Later this fall, Rae will also make her television debut as writer and coproducer of the upcoming ABC sitcom I Hate L.A. Dudes.

Photo via iamOTHER/YouTube

The Daily Dot