Issa Rae was bestowed the key to the city of her native Inglewood on Saturday, becoming the first person in its 114-year history to receive the honor.
The Emmy Award nominee, 37, received the first-ever key to Inglewood in the city’s 114 years of incorporation at Saturday’s Taste of Inglewood festival. The moment came shortly after her loosely self-based Insecure character was bestowed the same honor onscreen.
Mayor James T. Butts presented the key to “Issa Rae, the queen of Inglewood” during the festival, which was held across the street from SoFi stadium, where Super Bowl LVI will kick off Sunday.
“I’m a little emotional, I’m trying to be a thug right now. The mayor really flabbergasted me in that this is the first key in 114 years. It’s a huge honor and 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 to showcase this city that I love so much,” Rae said in her speech.
“I have to give love to my grandparents who have lived here, who have lived in Briarwood for a long time and who established my first point of view of Inglewood and love the city themselves; my mom and my sister who live here actively,” she continued. “And just for being here, I have to give a shout-out to my collaborators and my company members at Hoorae who have come out here to support me. But I’m truly honored to receive this. I will always put on for my city. Inglewood, South L.A., stand up.”
The historic moment mirrored a fantasy sequence in the recent fifth and final season of Insecure, except it was Mayor Tyra Banks who presented her with the key to Inglewood.
Rae, a native of Inglewood, has predominantly featured the city and surrounding areas in her HBO show, which ended its five-season run in December. She also spotlights the region and various locals in her HBO Max reality series Sweet Life: Los Angeles.
The Lovebirds actress previously opened up to PEOPLE about her passion for helping Black businesses succeed in her community. “I feel like if we’re not going to do it ourselves, nobody else will,” she said in December. “No one else puts the care that we do into us.”
“Just thinking about shopping small and Black businesses in general, the last couple of years, even in my neighborhood, our businesses have been most affected by the pandemic. And so to be able to just support them genuinely and supporting families feels right and important to me, especially during this holiday season,” Rae added.