36-year-old Lena Waithe may be the creator of Showtime’s hit drama series, The Chicago Native is also an actress-turned screen-writer. The concept of show is from her own experience on the Southside of Chicago, where she was born. “The Chi” shows the drama-filled lives of native Chicagoans surviving the rough surroundings of Southside Chi.
Early Life of Lena Waithe
Lena graduated from Evanston Township High School in Chicago. After graduating, she went to Columbia College and got her degree in cinema and also TV arts. In 2006, she worked for Blockbusters and transferred her job to Los Angeles, California. She would later become an assistant to executive Mara Brock Akil the producer of the TV Show Girlfriends. Lena was also a production aide on the film “The Secret Life of Bees”, produced by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. She later became a production assistant to Producer, Ava DuVernay.
She first made her acting debut on “The Return”, and shortly thereafter, in “Prepared Gamer One” and also “Master of None,”. What’s interesting about this character is that the original character wasn’t Black or Gay.
In 2014, Variety named her as one of its “10 Comics to See”. According to the article in the magazine, she created YouTube Paradoy called “Sh * t Black Women State.” Her quick wit landed her a gig on the TV program “Bones”. Lena Waith is co-chairman of the Board of Black Writers, and additionally she co-founded a networking team called Black Females That Brunch.
The episode, Thanksgiving, on Master of None won Waithe a Prime Time Emmy Award in 2017. The award was for exceptional writing in a comedy series. Not just did she win an award, Lena made history as the first black woman to win this award. On this episode, she touched on her own experience coming out to her family. Both that episode and also her Emmy win had significance for the LGBTQ community. Her acceptance speech included she had not forgotten about the LGBTQ community.
In 2018, she won the GLAAD Media Honor, presented by Halle Berry. Lena says Halle Berry inspired her after winning the Best Actress Award. In 2002, Halle Berry was the first Black Woman to win an Academy Award.
Last year, Lena quietly tied the knot with longtime girlfriend, Alana Mayo, in San Francisco after 2 years engaged. Unfortunately, Lena and Alana divorced in a blink of an eye. As of now, there have been some rumors of dating speculations, but we have confirmed nothing officially.
For now, Season 3 of The Chi will be out this fall and Waithe is bringing back some heat.