Amber Ruffin & Lacey Lamar
I am unsure how many of you are familiar with Amber Ruffin. She is a comedian with her own show on Peacock and a writer for Late Night with Seth Myers. Not only is she funny, Amber is an all-around adorable human being. Also, I want the wardrobe from her show.
In You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey, Amber and Lacey recount the many, many crazy racist things that happen to Lacey as a Black women living in Omaha, Nebraska.
Now a writer and performer on Late Night with Seth Meyers and host of The Amber Ruffin Show, Amber Ruffin lives in New York, where she is no one’s First Black Friend and everyone is, as she puts it, “stark raving normal.” But Amber’s sister Lacey? She’s still living in their home state of Nebraska, and trust us, you’ll never believe what happened to Lacey.
From racist donut shops to strangers putting their whole hand in her hair, from being mistaken for a prostitute to being mistaken for Harriet Tubman, Lacey is a lightning rod for hilariously ridiculous yet all-too-real anecdotes. She’s the perfect mix of polite, beautiful, petite, and Black that apparently makes people think “I can say whatever I want to this woman.” And now, Amber and Lacey share these entertainingly horrifying stories through their laugh-out-loud sisterly banter. Painfully relatable or shockingly eye-opening (depending on how often you have personally been followed by security at department stores), this book tackles modern-day racism with the perfect balance of levity and gravity.
I grew up in a very white, small Midwestern town. Other than one kid who was adopted and a guy who was half Black, my school was 100 percent non-Hispanic white. Still, I grew up hearing a lot of racist things, but I did not actively hear racist things said to BIPOC or racist actions, minus one KKK gathering. Since leaving the Midwest, I have had the pleasure of living in some pretty progressive places. My experiences witnessing racism outside of the internet and popular media is limited. This book helped to fill in my knowledge gap.
You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey provides you with stories of everyday racism directed at one individual. Ruffin and Lamar approach and tell these stories through humor but also underline the racism present. From the first page I was laughing out loud but also acutely aware of how asinine and outrageous white people are towards BIPOCs. While I did not think any of the stories were untrue, they were bewildering and the people unbelievable, insensitive, and ignorant.
There is so much I can say about this book, but I will just strongly recommend you read it, especially if you are looking for a bit of comic relief when reading about racism. I want to force every person who has unknowingly been racist or believes racism no longer exists to read this book.
I will leave you with a quote from the book:
“It’s never a Black person’s job to make sure these people understand why what they’re saying is wrong. It’s our job to survive another day as a Black person in America.”
You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism
Nonfiction – Humor
January 12, 2021