If you watch Late Night With Seth Meyers, you have been entertained by the talents of Amber Ruffin who serves as a comedy writer and performer on the show. She is a gem. One night she appeared as a guest with her sister Lacey Lamar discussing their new and very timely book, You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism, a collection of experiences about being Black in America and the on-going examples of racism they’ve experienced, especially by Lacey, who lives in Omaha, Nebraska. As they gave examples of some these occurrences, the audience (me included) were laughing non-stop. But wait, there’s nothing funny about racism. And therein lies the beauty of this book. It takes a very serious subject and tells it in such a scathingly humorous way that the message comes across loud and clear.
I selected the audio version first (something I rarely do) as I wanted to hear these stories with the sharp and direct delivery I’ve come to enjoy from Amber and hear first-hand from Lacey about how she has endured so much blatant racism. I also read the book as I wanted to see their photos and visuals. The stories range from the ridiculous – a woman who put her whole hand in Lacey’s hair and exclaimed it’s “fluffy like a dog” to very serious stories of discrimination in the workplace. (HR Departments – read this book!) Lacey’s experiences of being accused time and time again of shoplifting are horrifying and Amber’s encounters with the police will infuriate you. The two sisters get their point across by shining a much needed light on an uncomfortable subject through the art of laughter.
I highly recommend this book, especially in audio form.
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Nonfiction – Memoir / Humor / Social Justice.
Publication Date: January 12, 2021.
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