Wait…Issa Rae is ENGAGED?!

Asa runs a YouTube channel called The Mellow Lyfe. Check it out here.

Issa Rae is engaged, and her fiancé is not an Asian man, presumably. Why does the race of her fiancé matter? Because the race and nationality of who black women marry, matters. The mere act of Black women getting engaged and marrying, in and of itself, matters a great deal. Amidst the recent uproar about the chapter of her 2015 New York Times bestseller: The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl (ABG Guide: Black Women & Asian Men, page 137-139), where Issa briefly talks about why Black women and Asian men are a compatible pair in dating and marriage, people were blowing things out of proportion. I didn’t think Issa was encouraging Black women to go out in droves and start dating Asian men (although I’m not against that idea), she was simply making an observation.  As someone who also attended university in California – and it wasn’t even a private school like Stanford University, Issa’s alma mater – I understand that it’s nearly impossible to ignore the presence of Asian students – or the presence of Asian students in higher education, around the country. 

It’s no secret that educated Black women are a lonely (meaning unmarried) group. Why shouldn’t Black women mingle with Asian men while we’re in academia and corporate America, when Asian men make up a large percentage of those sectors? Especially when neither group benefits from waiting for the opposite sexes within our own racial groups to date or marry us, it benefits both Black women and Asian men to open our options to each other.  It’s a practical solution to our low marriage rates. There was no harm in her sentiments, but many Black people were ready to cancel her and stop watching her HBO show because she was “encouraging Black women to seek out Asian men”; and to those people, that translates to: “ditch Black men for this other race or nationality of men”, disregarding any nuance in her statements. Nevertheless, it’s clear that dating and marriage is something that’s been of interest to Issa for some time now – which is the case with most, if not all women. 

Issa Rae has remained reticent about her love life and she made that very clear during an interview with Vouge (February 2018): “… Any other aspect of my life? Give me the input. But who I’m fucking? No, I don’t need input. I’m good.”. She was previously rumored to be dating Ghanaian American actor and model Kofi Siriboe, who was in a relationship with Australian model and little sister to Youtube star Nikki Perkins – Duckie Thot. Sadly, they recently broke up. Issa and Kofi are simply close friends and she’s made that clear as well. Prior to Kofi, she was rumored to be dating everybody’s favorite fuckboy[playboy] – Drake – but even the most vacuous and impassive consumer of pop culture could tell that that wasn’t true. Given these supposed rumors however, one would have guessed that Issa is interested in Black men, but the mere mention of [other] Black women opening their dating options is enough to be attacked in today’s “woke” culture. She majored in African American Studies for Christ’s sake! I digress. 

Issa has kept her dating lifestyle very private, but some sources are saying the lucky man is her longtime boyfriend Louis Diame, a Senegalese businessman. What’s noteworthy is the fact that this is the same man Issa was dating when she first gained recognition for her web series (circa 2012), which means they had been dating for at least six years. Why would it take a couple more than five years to decide whether they want to get married? An actress/producer/writer paired with a businessman does sound like a very busy couple, so life can get in the way at times, I understand that. My husband and I were only college students when he proposed, but life got in the way of our engagement process. We had to juggle midterms, final exams, work and our budding relationship. He asked me to marry him after a year and a half of dating, when I sometimes ask about it, he says he “just knew”. Some men make their move when they get the intuition and some men wait for the right time, perhaps now is the right time for Issa and Louis. 

Nevertheless, 2019 seems like a rapturous year for Issa. With her new movie Little coming out next month, with costars Regina Hall and Masai Martin, plus another movie in the making, The Lovebirds, which will be districted by Paramount Pictures (March 2020) ; Issa’s future looks even brighter. Perhaps now was the perfect time to pop the question. Anyway, I’ll be watching both of those movies, and I’ll be waiting for the gorgeous wedding pictures.