I will admit it. I am absolutely in love with Issa Rae’s Awkward Black Girl series on YouTube. Not only do I love how hilarious the characters are in the series (like the really dorky one-night stand co-worker), but also I love the idea that we’re finally getting to see a person that I can honestly identify with–an awkward black girl.
I’ve been awkward for most of my life. Of all my friends, I’m always deemed “the quirky one” or “the weird one.” I was never good when it came to approaching my crushes. I usually sent notes with my friends reading something like “Smile, someone likes you” on the outside and “Laugh, it’s not the girl who gave you this note” on the inside, along with my confession of how I really liked him.
Those never ended well…
And as I got older, my awkward only grew with me. My tastes in music varied more than the average teenage black girl from “the hood” of Brooklyn. I wasn’t the girl wearing the latest in fashion and I wasn’t the girl that was the most boisterous in a group of people. And in the boys department, I found myself liking guys who were followed by the pretty harpy who rolled in a crew of mean girls. And it didn’t stop there.
The fact that I was never a person big on being expressive, people would think that I was really shy, really quiet or just apathetic. Many people were confused when I became a cheerleader in college.
“Oh my goodness! I can’t believe it!” That’s the response I would get on my Facebook when people saw the pictures of me online. They couldn’t figure it out because I wasn’t the smiling type. And they were right. The main reason I joined the squad was because of the athleticism. It was the closest thing to gymnastics, which was something I had always wanted to do.
But I digress.
Once I started working, my awkward continued to follow me. I was quiet, only speaking when I needed to. I kept my nose in my work and didn’t bother to join all the cool office people who went out to lunch together. By this time, I acknowledged that I was who I was and there was nothing that I could do to change it.
Then I saw Issa Rae’s Awkward Black Girl, and I laughed. I immediately felt that I wasn’t alone. I found a friend on YouTube, chronicling things that I and other awkward people go through. It wasn’t long before I had friends texting me, “Have you seen ABG on YouTube? I thought of you the moment I saw it.”
And after that, I was more than proud to be an Awkward Black Girl.–Afiya Augustine