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'Awkward Black Girl' Creator Issa Rae Talks Defying Narrow Racial Stereotypes

02/18/2015 05:17 pm ET | Updated Feb 18, 2015

Issa Rae, the bright mind behind "The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl," has been lauded by the likes of Pharrell Williams and Lena Dunham for her work on the successful YouTube series. Rae, who recently spun her hilarious misadventures into an autobiographical book, sat down with HuffPost Live on Tuesday and said her show's premise is also is drawn from her real-life experience grappling with being an awkward black woman.

Throughout her upbringing, Rae found her own personality at odds with overall perceptions of what it means to be black.

"What's been painted of mainstream media's blackness, their definition, I don't fit within that. So I'm in this awkward definition of blackness," she told host Marc Lamont Hill. "Black is supposed to be cool black is sassy. Black is trendsetting and I just don't feel that way. It's almost like limited in a way and I feel like black is so much more than that. Sometimes I feel like we're not even allowed to do that. We're not allowed to be other."

For example, Rae considers herself "socially uncomfortable" and is a bit rhythmically-challenged, as evidenced by her uncoordinated season one dance scene. Sometimes she worried she won't live up to the hype around perceptions of blackness.

"I can't dance and it's fine, it's like expected of me. But I'm a disappointment. Sometimes I feel like I'm a disappointment," she said. "Like when people are meeting black people for the first time or black women for the first time, they're like, 'Are you like Nene Leakes?! Are you gonna give it to me? Are you gonna go off on them?' And I'm like, 'No, I'm just here.'"

Watch the full conversation with 'Awkward Black Girl' producer Issa Rae here.

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