The World Record Book of Racist Stories

Amber Ruffin & Lacey Lamar

Quick Synopsis

A new collection of hilarious, intergenerational anecdotes about everyday experiences of racism from comedian Amber Ruffin and her sister Lacey.

Publisher’s Synopsis

Families may not always see eye to eye; we get on each other’s nerves, have different perspectives and lives—especially when we consider how we’ve grown up in different generations. But for the Ruffin family and many others, there has been one constant that connects them: racism hasn’t gone anywhere.

From her raucous musical numbers to turning upsetting news into laughs as the host of The Amber Ruffin Show or in her Late Night with Seth Meyers segments, Amber is no stranger to finding the funny wherever she looks. With equal parts heart and humor, she and her sister Lacey Lamar shared some of the eye-opening and outrageous experiences Lacey had faced in Nebraska in their first book. Now, the dynamic duo makes it clear—Lacey isn’t the only one in the family with ridiculous encounters to share! Amber and Lacey have many more uproarious stories, both from their own lives and the entire Ruffin family.

Recounting the wildest tales of racism from their parents, their siblings, and Amber’s nieces and nephews, this intergenerational look at ludicrous (but all too believable) everyday racism as experienced across age, gender, and appearance will have you gasping with shock and laughter in turn. Validating for anyone who has first-hand experience, and revealing for anyone who doesn’t, Amber and Lacey’s next book helps us all find the absurdity in the pervasive frustrations of racism. Illuminating and packed with love and laughter, this is a must-read for just about everyone. 

Book Review

Amber Ruffin & Lacey Lamar’s debut You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey was one of my favorite books of 2021. So as you can imagine, I have been highly anticipating the release of their second book, The World Record Book of Racist Stories.

The World Record Book of Racist Stories is a collection of eye-opening stories of everyday racism. In this book, Amber and Lacey have compiled more personal anecdotes and included tales from immediate family and a few friends

Once again, Amber & Lacey deliver expertly crafted stories of absurdly racist experiences filled with humor. It is hard to describe the unique combination of horror and humor they provoke as you read.

Having read and loved You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey, I cannot help but compare The World Record Book of Racist Stories to it. I found that this sophomore book did not flow as well. I think this can partially be explained by the banter threaded through the book that distracts at times, rather than adding to the narrative. I think the brevity of the stories also made this a little more of a choppy read. I personally would have preferred if each tale was given more page space to describe the details and events.

I appreciated that Amber and Lacey tried a few different things in The World Record Book of Racist Stories. In particular, the sisters added stories of outrageous things their white friends have gotten away with that they never would as Black Americans. I thought these anecdotes provided a strong contrast to the rest of the book and acted as a reminder of the starkly different existence of white and Black Americans. Amber and Lacey also included stories from most of their immediate family, including their parents. I found the stories from their sister Angie, who is a pastor, extremely memorable and especially appalling. A portion of this I attribute to the fact that the events occurred very close to where I grew up. However, I think the fact that the tales described the incredibly racist treatment of a pastor by her own parishioners to be particularly bewildering, although not surprising.

Overall, I really enjoyed The World Record Book of Racist Stories. I appreciate that this is both a humorous book and a reality check (for white people) or a book to feel understood by (for BIPOC people). I highly recommend both of their books. I am planning on reading this book again in the future as an audiobook to hear it in the authors’ own voices and to hear the childhood songs referenced.

Rating

Overall Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Writing

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Cohesiveness

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Storyline

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The World Record Book of Racist Stories

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Genre
Nonfiction – Essays; Humor; Social Issues

Publication Date
November 22, 2022

Pages
240


Storygraph Rating
4.59 stars

Goodreads Rating
4.32 stars


Buy Now

Note: I received a gifted copy of this book from the publisher, Grand Central Publishing. Regardless, I always provide a fair and honest review.

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