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Tuesday, Feb. 27
The Indiana Daily Student

Black Voices

Black Voices: Issa Rae awarded the key to the city of Inglewood


“Insecure” star and co-creator Issa Rae has dubbed another achievement in her career, becoming the first in 114 years to receive the key to her hometown of Inglewood, California.

Mayor James T. Butts presented the key to "Issa Rae, the Queen of Inglewood" during the Taste of Inglewood festival, which was held across the street from where the Super Bowl was played this year.

“I’m a little emotional,” Rae said in her acceptance speech as she spoke to hundreds of Los Angeles residents and supporters. “I’m trying to be a thug right now. The mayor really kind of flabbergasted me in that this is the first key in 114 years, so that’s a huge honor.” 

Getting the key to the city is a level of honor. Typically, when a person receives a key to a given city, they are from that city and have made a significant change in and service to their community. 

“I just want to thank you all so much for your support—thank you to the mayor, thank you to the city of Inglewood for making it so easy for us to film here, for helping us showcase this city that I love so much,” said Rae.

In a way, Issa manifested this opportunity in her show “Insecure.”

Related: [Black Voices: Where’s the IMU Bookstore’s Black History Month section?]

In her fifth and final season of “Insecure,” Issa’s character was also given the key to Inglewood by mayor Tyra Banks.

During the series, Issa highlighted some of the neighborhoods and restaurants located in Inglewood. She is also an executive producer on HBO Max’s “Sweet Life: Los Angeles,” a coming-of-age series about a group of friends navigating their twenties in Los Angeles. In this show, she shouts out different hot spots in Inglewood.

Not only has she given an on-screen commitment to Inglewood, but she has also invested in Black businesses in the city. She teamed up with the owners of a local coffee shop Hilltop Coffee and Kitchen and is now co-owner.

“Coffee shops facilitate productivity in so many ways, they facilitate collaboration,” Rae said in an Instagram video announcing her collaboration.

“I personally have done all of my writing in coffee shops,” Rae said. “So it always disappointed me that there weren’t any that were Black-owned, people of color-owned in my neighborhood.”

It’s evident that Issa loves her city and will continue to show support to Inglewood for the world to see. She deserves a key to her city and truly is the Queen of Inglewood.

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