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You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism

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*An Indie Next Pick* Writer and performer on Late Night with Seth Meyers Amber Ruffin writes with her sister Lacey Lamar with humor and heart to share absurd anecdotes about everyday experiences of racism. 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 *An Indie Next Pick* Writer and performer on Late Night with Seth Meyers Amber Ruffin writes with her sister Lacey Lamar with humor and heart to share absurd anecdotes about everyday experiences of racism. 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.


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*An Indie Next Pick* Writer and performer on Late Night with Seth Meyers Amber Ruffin writes with her sister Lacey Lamar with humor and heart to share absurd anecdotes about everyday experiences of racism. 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 *An Indie Next Pick* Writer and performer on Late Night with Seth Meyers Amber Ruffin writes with her sister Lacey Lamar with humor and heart to share absurd anecdotes about everyday experiences of racism. 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.

30 review for You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Lawson

    Can a book be hilarious and horrifying at the same time? This one is. It's my optional bonus book club pick for January. You should read it. Can a book be hilarious and horrifying at the same time? This one is. It's my optional bonus book club pick for January. You should read it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Karen Chee

    amber is my friend and she is the best!!!! If you don’t like this book I will show up immediately and punch your butt!! Jk jk there’s a pandemic so I’ll prob punch butts in 2022 . hope you like this book

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨️ I yeet my books back and forth ✨️ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest Sadly, I think anyone who has a Twitter account will believe what happened to Lacey. If you aren't familiar with Amber Ruffin, she's a comedian who is regularly featured on Seth Myers's comedy show, and when I found out she was co-writing a book with her older sister about racism, I had to get my hands on it, because I knew it would be great. The two sisters have different fonts for each of their POVs so you can tell who is talking and mo Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest Sadly, I think anyone who has a Twitter account will believe what happened to Lacey. If you aren't familiar with Amber Ruffin, she's a comedian who is regularly featured on Seth Myers's comedy show, and when I found out she was co-writing a book with her older sister about racism, I had to get my hands on it, because I knew it would be great. The two sisters have different fonts for each of their POVs so you can tell who is talking and most of the book is about Lacey talking about working in public service in Omaha, Nebraska, frequently in places where she is the only person of color on staff. In these essays, she writes about the various not-okay things people have said and done to her, which range from touching her hair to full-on police harassment. I laughed my way through huge swaths of this book but other parts of it left me feeling demoralized and kind of sad for humanity. I think this is a REALLY important book because of how it adds to the ongoing dialogues about racial injustice and the importance of respecting others and checking your own privilege, and it does so in a funny and accessible way. I don't really think that this is the kind of book you can really "enjoy" reading but I did really appreciate what it set out to do and how it accomplished it. Definitely a must-read and I wouldn't be surprised to see it topping a lot of "best of" lists for 2021 nonfiction. I'm not sure I would read it again, but I'm glad I read it. Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review! 3.5 to 4 stars

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Whew! Thank goodness we got a new President yesterday and America isn’t racist anymore! That was a close one there for a minute. (If you don’t understand that was a joke then this probably isn’t the book for you.) But if you are still attempting to become more “woke” and all of the other books that people have been sharing/shaming you to read here or on the ‘Gram are just making you want to stick your head in the oven, this might be the selection for you. In case you aren’t aware from my oh-so-ve Whew! Thank goodness we got a new President yesterday and America isn’t racist anymore! That was a close one there for a minute. (If you don’t understand that was a joke then this probably isn’t the book for you.) But if you are still attempting to become more “woke” and all of the other books that people have been sharing/shaming you to read here or on the ‘Gram are just making you want to stick your head in the oven, this might be the selection for you. In case you aren’t aware from my oh-so-very-youthful-looking profile picture (I’m the one on the left), I am an old lady – and I work with even older old men who most definitely could have been used as like eleventy examples of things people say without even giving a fuck that they are just blatantly not okay. My company like most others also tries to tout its inclusivity and diversity while having one black person in a not bottom-of-the-barrel staff type of position and also one Pacific Islander because yay that’s super diverse */sarcasm*. This book is full of stories like you can hear in any corporate environment across flyover country, but actually told by a black person who they were said directly to. They are cringey and awful, but they are delivered with humor so you don’t feel like you just took a frying pan to your face over and over again while reading them. As I said right above this, I am old (or at least old adjacent). I cannot stay up late enough to watch Seth Meyers, but I did fall a little bit in love with Amber Ruffin during her many appearances on Drunk History . . . . I mean, my girl gets L.I.T. And then Peacock became a thing so I could demand this whenever I felt like it . . . . Now I love her even more. She just spits truth . . . . And she fucking punked her sister for their press tour for this release . . . . She's my hero. As said at the end of the book . . . We are not into trying to educate white America, but maybe we accidentally did. Maybe white readers learned that just because your Black friends aren’t sitting you down, going over all their trauma with you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist! Maybe your learned that racist stuff happens all the time. Maybe you’ve become emboldened to speak up when you see someone being a racist piece of shit. Maybe you’ve realized the racist piece of shit was you! Or maybe you’re still waiting to “Make America Great Again” . . . . If so, please kindly block me so I never see you again. Thanks in advance! ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jessica | JustReadingJess

    You’ll Never Believe What Happened Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar is a great book telling stories about racism in a humorous way. I loved You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey. Ruffin and Lamar do an excellent job demonstrating racism through real life examples. There were many times I laughed while reading this book. The way Ruffin and Lamar presented these stories was funny but at the same time it is sad that they are all true stories. Many topics are di You’ll Never Believe What Happened Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar is a great book telling stories about racism in a humorous way. I loved You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey. Ruffin and Lamar do an excellent job demonstrating racism through real life examples. There were many times I laughed while reading this book. The way Ruffin and Lamar presented these stories was funny but at the same time it is sad that they are all true stories. Many topics are discussed including work, medical, and reactions when Lacey was married to a white man. There are some pictures in the book like people Lacey has been told she looks like next to pictures of her. A crazy story I never would’ve imagined happening was when Lacey wasn’t told she had a kidney stone. I recommend You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey to anyone that is interested in hearing real life stories about racism told in a humorous way. Thank you Grand Central Publishing for You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey. Full Review: https://justreadingjess.wordpress.com...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elle

    No surprise here—Amber Ruffin is hilarious and endearing and so is her first book! Co-written with her older sister Lacey Lamar, You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey is a trip through the incredible world of racism while being Black in the workplace, Black on dating apps, Black while shopping at JCPenny....you get the idea. Most of these stories are fairly short. They’re the kind of thing you’d tell at a cocktail party that’s the perfect combination of ridiculous and insane so everyone’s No surprise here—Amber Ruffin is hilarious and endearing and so is her first book! Co-written with her older sister Lacey Lamar, You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey is a trip through the incredible world of racism while being Black in the workplace, Black on dating apps, Black while shopping at JCPenny....you get the idea. Most of these stories are fairly short. They’re the kind of thing you’d tell at a cocktail party that’s the perfect combination of ridiculous and insane so everyone’s attention will be entirely held throughout. Individually they’re a crazy anecdote, but taken together they start to paint a picture of some of the absurd micro-aggressions (or just full aggression-aggressions) that Black people living in America have to put up with while simply living their lives. It’s funny, but it’s also stark in the way it reminds white readers that, hey—we’re all contributing to this too. But I don’t want the serious systemic and social issues being referenced dissuade anyone from picking up this book. It’s really, really funny! Lacey and Amber have a brilliant rapport not just as sisters but as two naturally funny women. This isn’t the book that’s meant to teach about the history and arguments of anti-racism, but it still has the ability to put some of those ideas into context. Blending laugh-out-loud comedy and serious topics is a skill Amber has flexed over the years while working in television, and it’s great to see how that’s translated into print here. Speaking of print, I actually didn’t read a physical copy of this book, instead I listened to the audio version. It’s narrated by Ruffin and Lamar, and it is wonderful. I had a couple of friends who said they read it but wish they had listened to it, so I feel like their narration is definitely worth the listen. The only thing I feel like I missed out on was the pictures and images that were sometimes referenced, although Amber gave a valiant effort in describing them to us. If you can, I would either have a physical copy of the book along with the audiobook or make sure that your audio version comes with supplemental materials. Although really, you can’t go wrong either way!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    I know I’m supposed to laugh at this book because it’s funny. And I did laugh, a lot, because it IS funny. But honestly I also felt incredibly guilty for laughing. And that’s because this book is unbelievable. And that’s not to say I don’t believe the stories, because I do. I believe every freaking word. But it is unbelievable that things like this are still legitimately happening to Black people. I mean there are moments that made my mouth drop open in shock. I found myself frequently paraphrasi I know I’m supposed to laugh at this book because it’s funny. And I did laugh, a lot, because it IS funny. But honestly I also felt incredibly guilty for laughing. And that’s because this book is unbelievable. And that’s not to say I don’t believe the stories, because I do. I believe every freaking word. But it is unbelievable that things like this are still legitimately happening to Black people. I mean there are moments that made my mouth drop open in shock. I found myself frequently paraphrasing and retelling the stories to my husband who was equally shocked (and who also laughed, because truly, this book is so funny). I can’t. The number of stories that revolve around the fact that people can’t tell Black people apart is mind blowing. Really? I mean, I know it’s a thing. I know it happens. I just don’t understand it. There is one example, right at the beginning of the book. And I won’t give it away because it is just a perfect (*chef’s kiss*) example of this insanity, but man. Really? And listen, for what it’s worth, I know Amber is the professional comedian, and don’t get me wrong, she’s funny. Laugh out loud funny. I may have mentioned that a few times. But Lacey's “interjections” throughout are, frankly, a highlight for me. Especially as an older sister myself I really identify with that type of sisterly interaction. This really is a must read for any white person, but unfortunately the people who need to read it won't. But for people who are interested in gaining a better understanding of the Black experience, this book is an entertaining and eye-opening read to add to your list. Thank you to Netgalley, the authors, and Grand Central Publishing for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Check out more of my reviews on my blog: mymomsbookshelf.com.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Esil

    What a clever idea for a book about the experience of racism! Amber Ruffin recounts her sister Lacey's experiences of racism in Omaha in everyday life since she was a child. There is a lighthearted tone to how Ruffin recounts her sister's experiences, but the relentless and shear number of incidents is dispiriting. Funny and horrifying at the same time. This worked well as an audiobook because both sisters speak and they have a good banter going. But Ruffin keeps reminding listeners about the ph What a clever idea for a book about the experience of racism! Amber Ruffin recounts her sister Lacey's experiences of racism in Omaha in everyday life since she was a child. There is a lighthearted tone to how Ruffin recounts her sister's experiences, but the relentless and shear number of incidents is dispiriting. Funny and horrifying at the same time. This worked well as an audiobook because both sisters speak and they have a good banter going. But Ruffin keeps reminding listeners about the photos listeners are missing out on. Since I don't know what I missed, I still vote for audio.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bri

    I absolutely adore this book!!!!! I’m so glad my local library had it as one of their Peak Picks selections. I’m familiar with Amber Ruffin’s comedy and I think she’s hilarious. But I was wary of the concept of this book, because often when Black people write about anti-Black racism, they’re doing it for the benefit and education of white readers and it’s obvious to me. Amber and her sister Lacey explicitly state that this book exists because we need to tell these stories to realize them (often I absolutely adore this book!!!!! I’m so glad my local library had it as one of their Peak Picks selections. I’m familiar with Amber Ruffin’s comedy and I think she’s hilarious. But I was wary of the concept of this book, because often when Black people write about anti-Black racism, they’re doing it for the benefit and education of white readers and it’s obvious to me. Amber and her sister Lacey explicitly state that this book exists because we need to tell these stories to realize them (often Black women internalize our racialized interactions instead of processing them because there just are SO MANY), and because we need to laugh to cope. I love that while Lacey almost always has spoken up during these racist interactions (mostly because at work she’s in a directorial position), Amber is decidedly done explaining racism to people. Both reactions are completely okay because Black people can do whatever they feel is necessary. I felt so much like I was talking with my friends while reading this book, which was so comforting to me. I also enjoyed Amber and Lacey’s sisterhood dynamic and learning about their upbringing in Omaha. As much as I felt a sense of kinship and comfort within this book, these stories are BRUTAL. I stopped several times to sit with how many of these extremely violent racist encounters have happened to me, on both the “progressive” East and West Coasts. The content of these stories is heavy, and it’s depressing as fuck that white people can be (and often are) so shamelessly vile, but Amber and Lacey handle it with humor that’s wry and just right. Read this book!!!!!!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Becki

    To be clear, I'm white... and this is a book by and about two Black sisters (literal sisters) and the racism they (especially Lacey!) encounter on a regular basis. The book is funny, yes, (primary author Amber Ruffin is a writer for Seth Meyers), but the situations are not. Ugh. The titular Lacey still lives in the sisters' hometown of Omaha, Nebraska where she is often the only black person in the room. Amber is now living the dream in diverse NYC, but Lacey texts Amber all the time with unbeli To be clear, I'm white... and this is a book by and about two Black sisters (literal sisters) and the racism they (especially Lacey!) encounter on a regular basis. The book is funny, yes, (primary author Amber Ruffin is a writer for Seth Meyers), but the situations are not. Ugh. The titular Lacey still lives in the sisters' hometown of Omaha, Nebraska where she is often the only black person in the room. Amber is now living the dream in diverse NYC, but Lacey texts Amber all the time with unbelievable (though frustratingly believable) stories of the racism she encounters- on the job, in church, from teachers, at the hands of police/security officers, and yes- even from friends. This book is exactly what it purports to be... A bunch of stories about Lacey's crazy experiences, along with a few of Amber's. Amber presents the stories and Lacey frequently chimes in as only a sister can. The book does not offer much in the way of advice or answers. Instead it is presented as solidarity for Black folks, and as a generous invitation for white folks to see how their words and behaviors affect the Black people in their lives. I experienced a few moments of embarrassment for my own behavior, and came away with a renewed commitment to be a better ally. Very revealing. I received an ARC of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. My thanks to author Amber Ruffin and publisher Grand Central Publishing for this opportunity.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Woodbury

    This isn't the easiest book to pitch, at first glance it sounds weird, is it humor or is it serious? Can you have a funny book about racism? What is the point of sharing a whole bunch of stories about racism? But Amber and Lacey pull off something really impressive here, and part of what's so good about it is that it isn't easy to just put in a nice little box. Racism is complicated! White nonsense is ridiculous! Sometimes you want to laugh and cry at the same time and that is the world we live This isn't the easiest book to pitch, at first glance it sounds weird, is it humor or is it serious? Can you have a funny book about racism? What is the point of sharing a whole bunch of stories about racism? But Amber and Lacey pull off something really impressive here, and part of what's so good about it is that it isn't easy to just put in a nice little box. Racism is complicated! White nonsense is ridiculous! Sometimes you want to laugh and cry at the same time and that is the world we live in. What this book is to you will depend on your own race, but this is not a "here white people, come learn why racism is bad" book. Occasionally the book will reference the history of a particular stereotype, but usually this book just expects you to know what microaggressions are, why behaviors big and small can be problematic, etc. There are a few stories in here where after she has gotten the lay of the land Lacey realizes she will be fired and she is always right, and if you try to fight against this book with white defensiveness, it is just not going to work at all. Because Lacey is always right. And if you want to try to find a reason why Lacey has somehow brought this upon herself, well, this book is going to be a very tough experience for you because (spoiler) she never does. For this book to work you have to accept that people are racist. Now, once we've gotten past that hurdle, there is such a variety of racism to behold! The whole idea behind the book is that somehow Lacey has an abundance of stories about racist behavior that fortunately do not end with anyone getting shot or put in jail (a relief) but where the consequences vary from minor awkwardness to serious impacts on people's lives. So how is that funny? Well, sometimes it's just funny, because racism is so weird and irrational that a lot of it is ridiculous and all you can do is laugh. Also, happily, Amber and Lacey are funny. If you're familiar with Amber Ruffin's comedy, then you probably won't need me to explain why this book is funny, because she's able to make jokes about serious stuff (often including racism) really well, and it's part of why she's so good at her job. The banter back and forth between the sisters is great, as they tell us Lacey always calls Amber when she has a new racism story and it is like we are getting included in these conversations. They want Black readers to feel validated, to know they aren't alone. And for other readers, I can almost guarantee you will run into types of racism you haven't run into before. (Lacey and Amber are often surprised, and they've seen a lot.) I also think this is a really really useful read for people to better understand racism in the workplace specifically, a lot of Lacey's stories are from work where she is often the only Black person on staff, and wow there are a lot of examples of what not to do here. The Ruffin family are a delight, and the Omaha setting is particularly great. (We rarely talk about racism in the midwest! Or feature Black people from the midwest even though many of them live there!) I did this book on audio because I'm used to seeing Amber's comedy on video and this was pretty close. Both sisters read, and Amber enjoys giving a few "audiobook bonuses" to describe pictures in the book that you don't get to see on audio. Highly recommend the audio, it helps to get tone in a lot of these stories (since so much of the details of microaggressions can be all about tone) and they're smart about dividing stories by theme, letting you know when stories will be particularly hard, and giving little palate cleansers inbetween (like why Lacey hates butterflies). This isn't a book about how to combat racism or how to be a good ally. But as you go through all of these stories (so many!) it's clear how many of these stories you haven't heard before and how many of them just don't get told in this kind of platform to this kind of audience. No, it doesn't fit in any little easily categorized box, but it was both joyful and sobering to read and I highly recommend it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Read In Colour

    Ask any Black woman how many microaggressions she deals with daily and she’ll likely laugh at you and tell you there’s no way she could keep count because they happen so often. Is it tiring, yes. Does it make you want to pluck your eyelashes out one by one at times, yes. But occasionally you stop and think about the ridiculousness of it all and you have no other choice than to laugh. Amber Ruffin and her sister Lacey Lamar have written a book that perfectly encapsulates the world that so many of Ask any Black woman how many microaggressions she deals with daily and she’ll likely laugh at you and tell you there’s no way she could keep count because they happen so often. Is it tiring, yes. Does it make you want to pluck your eyelashes out one by one at times, yes. But occasionally you stop and think about the ridiculousness of it all and you have no other choice than to laugh. Amber Ruffin and her sister Lacey Lamar have written a book that perfectly encapsulates the world that so many of us live in. However, Lacey seems to have a microaggression magnet on her forehead. You know how some people attract crazy? Lacey attracts polite, and sometimes not so polite, racists. Living in Omaha (or anywhere in the U.S.) can’t help, but I promise the stories she tells are relatable whether you’re in the midwest or the mid-atlantic region. Whether it’s a cashier asking if the Harriet Tubman image on your checks is actually you, being the only Black person at work, being told you’re safe as a Black woman because no one kidnaps Black women or the assumption that you’re from a single parent household even though you grew up with both parents in the house - being Black in perceived white spaces can be a lot. And yet, Lacey seems to find the humor in it all. The stories are told with enough lightheartedness that I found myself cackling, and I can appreciate this somewhat strategic move to put white readers at ease as they slowly, but surely, start to think about which of the cringeworthy and downright offensive acts they’ve committed themselves. But this book isn’t meant just for white readers who are looking to learn how to be and do better, it’s also an affirmation for Black women who’ve questioned their sanity after a day in the life where their humanity is questioned simply for existing in a world that dares them to be in its space.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    This book made me deeply ashamed and angry and just generally gobsmacked and I spent a great deal of time while reading it doing the same thing over and over. I'd read a passage, do a kind of gaspy, horrified laugh thing, put the book down on my lap and breathe out "oh my gooooooddddddd." Authors Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar assure readers from the beginning that these stories of the various racist encounters they've had in their lifetimes are supposed to be hilarious. They've been laughing about This book made me deeply ashamed and angry and just generally gobsmacked and I spent a great deal of time while reading it doing the same thing over and over. I'd read a passage, do a kind of gaspy, horrified laugh thing, put the book down on my lap and breathe out "oh my gooooooddddddd." Authors Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar assure readers from the beginning that these stories of the various racist encounters they've had in their lifetimes are supposed to be hilarious. They've been laughing about them for years. Lacey's magnetic ability to attract the creme de la creme of racist morons is the stuff of Ruffin family legend. They have to laugh because so many of these stories are just so absurd they're hilarious. The biggest issue white readers of this book (the at least moderately aware of the world we live in ones) are going to have is the sheer unbelievability of half the shit Lacey deals with on a daily basis. The dimwitted racist douchebags that populate her world and the staggering volume of racist bullshit they throw at her on a daily basis is so insane it just defies any kind of reason. It seriously takes a minute to get your head around the fact that these are true stories, they are that horrifyingly absurd. You, a reasonable white person who knows that racism is a thing will definitely think at least once while reading this any or all of the following; "this can't be real." "no one is this stupid." "no one would ever actually say that!" "she put her hand IN her hair? Like her whole hand? Into a total stranger's head of hair?!" "I have no idea at all how to even begin to fix this." And you will laugh. I defy you not to laugh. Amber, a brilliant comedian and writer (and as of this very minute new NBC late night host!) and Lacey are crazy funny ladies. But it'll be that weird laughter I mentioned before. The breathy, awkward, I almost want to throw this book across the room so I can distance myself from the people doing the thing that's making me laugh, kind of laughter. The harder part comes when you realize that its not just that these stories are true its that Lacey is just one woman. If Lacey has to spend her days trying to decide if its worth her job to report the head of food service at the senior living facility she works in for calling all the black employees "hood rats" to their faces or dealing with coworkers who weren't sure if they should have salad at a potluck for her birthday because "we didn't know if you people ate salad" can you imagine what every single other Black person in this country puts up with? Why have I never spent any time thinking about that before? I mean my god. We just get to see the big stuff. We get to get angry about George Floyd and Brianna Taylor and don't get me wrong we should get really angry about them but sweet jesus we've got to start getting angry and vocal about this shit too. If we have any hope of correcting the horror that is systemic racism in this country we have to start holding ourselves and the people around us accountable for this kind of bullshit. We can't keep acting like its a Black person's job to educate us about why something is racist or just generally inappropriate and we can't stand there silently when we see or hear people doing or saying stupid, racist shit. We know, we always know when its happening. We like to pretend that its not our problem to fix or that we're doing what we can but we can always be doing more. We have to get comfortable with the idea of shutting this shit down or at the very least pointing it out when its happening. You're not doing something wrong when you point out that someone's language or comment or costume is racist or ignorant. Even if they act all upset or confused or start whining that you don't get the joke or you're the one who's racist. The worst, absolute worst thing we can do is stay quiet. That's WHY its still happening. Because we, the one's who are supposed to know better, can't manage to open our mouths and say something. We have to take responsibility for all of it. All the "well grandpa's from another time" or "well its middle America what do you expect!?" kind of nonsense that we let slide. I had to stop myself from doing that while I was reading this! Most of the action here is in North Dakota and I am 100% guilty of lulling myself into a nice little blissful "no one acts like that where I live" fantasy that I had to shake myself out of. This book is hilarious and eye opening and disturbing on a very deep level. It should be disturbing to any white reader. I imagine, and the Ruffin sisters point it out, that it will be very, very familiar to every Black reader. I know it doesn't mean anything, like at all, to these two women who are beautiful and funny and smart but I'm very fucking sorry. I will be better. I will not try to be better. I will be better.

  14. 4 out of 5

    David

    "Laughter is the best medicine" is not just a comforting aphorism. Researchers have proven that endogenous endorphins are released in the process of physically responding to humor with anything more hearty than a chuckle. It's true! You, too, can achieve a runner's high without getting up off that sofa. And Amber Ruffin - along with older sister Lacey Lamar (Amber would want me to emphasize the age difference) - have been using laughter to soothe the deep, abiding hurt they suffer as the result "Laughter is the best medicine" is not just a comforting aphorism. Researchers have proven that endogenous endorphins are released in the process of physically responding to humor with anything more hearty than a chuckle. It's true! You, too, can achieve a runner's high without getting up off that sofa. And Amber Ruffin - along with older sister Lacey Lamar (Amber would want me to emphasize the age difference) - have been using laughter to soothe the deep, abiding hurt they suffer as the result of racism for most of their lives. Sharing these stories with the rest of us is an act of remarkable generosity. This is one of the funniest books I've read in ages. It would be outright hilarious if it wasn't also so horrendous. These tales of woe induce all manner of responses, from grimacing to belly laughs to tears of grief. It's appalling that Racism comes in more varieties than the fabulous hair styles these two women sport. They write about Racism that is insidious or overt, unwitting or cruelly calculated, local or national, rebuffed or tolerated, but - shamefully - protected, promoted, and pervasive. There are many very difficult sections within this book. Both women, along with friends and family, have amassed a treasure trove of vignettes that map out the dehumanization of Black people at the hands of ignorant employers, supervisors, coworkers, neighbors, classmates, pastors, teachers, small business operators, security officers, love interests... you get the point. I was most alarmed by those that involve White adults harming and shaming Black children. But funny? Hell, yes. There are some racists who are just so stupid and inept that the only thing one can do is laugh at them. Of course it's all the other types one has to be wary of. These two outstanding ladies manage to have fun teaching the rest of us how to distinguish between the clowns and the killers. They do so in the hope that readers will be moved to shift further along the spectrum of racist -- non-racist -- anti-racist, wherever they happen to find themselves upon further reflection.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Yeah, I do believe what happened to Lacey. And I wish I didn't! It's a testament to how great a writer Amber is that I laughed at these stories until I had actual tears, even though they're ha ha funny. They're WHAT THE CRAP?! funny. They're "If I put that in a work of fiction my editor would say, Take it out, it's too unrealistic." funny. They're "I have to laugh so I don't cry and/or drive my car directly into your boss' living room." funny. I'm glad that they can share these stories. I'm glad t Yeah, I do believe what happened to Lacey. And I wish I didn't! It's a testament to how great a writer Amber is that I laughed at these stories until I had actual tears, even though they're ha ha funny. They're WHAT THE CRAP?! funny. They're "If I put that in a work of fiction my editor would say, Take it out, it's too unrealistic." funny. They're "I have to laugh so I don't cry and/or drive my car directly into your boss' living room." funny. I'm glad that they can share these stories. I'm glad that Amber and Lacey can laugh about them. I'm glad that they're still alive to tell these stories (and that tells you how a few of these stories could have not been funny at all). I would love to see more stories about anything from Amber, with interjections by Lacey. I would love to hear from the rest of their family. They sound like interesting people to know. And yes, Magneto IS the most powerful supervillain. And I do really want to try one of those racist doughnuts, though. They do sound amazing.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    A long and mindless work project let me finish this audiobook in a couple of days. :) Hard not to feel conflicted about this one. Amber Ruffin's narration was delivered in a breezy style that emphasized the humor of the racist situations that her sister Lacey (who also narrated bits and pieces of the audiobook), herself, other family members, and friends experienced at work and out in the world. It made me feel like I was being drawn into a circle of confidence as these sisters told their infuria A long and mindless work project let me finish this audiobook in a couple of days. :) Hard not to feel conflicted about this one. Amber Ruffin's narration was delivered in a breezy style that emphasized the humor of the racist situations that her sister Lacey (who also narrated bits and pieces of the audiobook), herself, other family members, and friends experienced at work and out in the world. It made me feel like I was being drawn into a circle of confidence as these sisters told their infuriating, hilarious stories. At the same time, I haven't had these experiences myself, for obvious reasons, and "people like me" were the boneheaded, sometimes malicious instigators of every single situation, so that illusion didn't hold up super well. That meta aspect of the book could be discomfiting.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    The minute I saw Amber Ruffin had a book, I knew I needed it. The first time I ever saw her was on Seth Meyers and I became an instant fan listening to her upsetting, absurd, and hilarious story. I loved this book and totally agree with Busy Phillips. “You will laugh, you will be enraged, and if you are a white person, you will understand more than you did before about the truth of being Black in America.” In short, this collection of stories is a must read. I received an advanced copy in exchange The minute I saw Amber Ruffin had a book, I knew I needed it. The first time I ever saw her was on Seth Meyers and I became an instant fan listening to her upsetting, absurd, and hilarious story. I loved this book and totally agree with Busy Phillips. “You will laugh, you will be enraged, and if you are a white person, you will understand more than you did before about the truth of being Black in America.” In short, this collection of stories is a must read. I received an advanced copy in exchange for my review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Iseman

    I devoured this book. These stories are brutal and the fact that Amber and Lacey can make you laugh one sentence and sick to your stomach the next is truly nuts. Go buy it, make yourself a margarita (trust me) and read it and then have your friends buy it, make margaritas and read it and then watch The Amber Ruffin show on Peacock, and you guessed it, make a margarita. Also, speak up when racist people say racist shit. *Thought I should add that I don’t recommend binge-reading these stories like I d I devoured this book. These stories are brutal and the fact that Amber and Lacey can make you laugh one sentence and sick to your stomach the next is truly nuts. Go buy it, make yourself a margarita (trust me) and read it and then have your friends buy it, make margaritas and read it and then watch The Amber Ruffin show on Peacock, and you guessed it, make a margarita. Also, speak up when racist people say racist shit. *Thought I should add that I don’t recommend binge-reading these stories like I did. The book is short, but take your time with it.*

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    A must read book! I bought a few to gift to my friends and guys!!! Read this oh my gosh it’s amazing, eye opening and laugh out loud moments are hilariously insane! I LOVED IT!

  20. 4 out of 5

    MicheleReader

    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 Omah 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 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. Amber ends the book asking the question, “Can you believe this sh*t?” I highly recommend this book, especially in audio form. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars. Review posted on MicheleReader.com.

  21. 4 out of 5

    2TReads

    The title does not lie. These stories with dem yt pipo are truly inspired. Racists sure are creative. But Amber layered these stories with the humour that keeps the rage from taking over and Lacey is a true miracle, to have handled these experiences with the poise and strength that she did is a true testament to the magic that is Black people. Just read these stories, I guarantee you will laugh, sigh, cringe, and just marvel at the idiocy and ignorance. I took this picture to show the similarity b The title does not lie. These stories with dem yt pipo are truly inspired. Racists sure are creative. But Amber layered these stories with the humour that keeps the rage from taking over and Lacey is a true miracle, to have handled these experiences with the poise and strength that she did is a true testament to the magic that is Black people. Just read these stories, I guarantee you will laugh, sigh, cringe, and just marvel at the idiocy and ignorance. I took this picture to show the similarity between those two dead leaves refusing to fall and the tenacity with which white people cling to their ignorant and baseless racist ideologies. Amber Ruffin and her sister Lacey Lamar have joined forces to bring us a book filled to bursting with stories that reflect many of the idiotic and exaggerated racist tendencies and behaviours of white people. The catch: these stories except maybe two are Lacey's, and they range from her workplace to malls right back to school and church. Even as Amber has wrapped these stories in humour, it is still jarring to read of these encounters, so even as you laugh, you are baffled at the stupidity and angry at the outright hate that Lacey has faced. Yes we know of these stories or some version of these occurrences, but trust me, you won't want to miss these stories in the sister's voices. Also their mom is a Boss.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I don’t know how else to rate someone’s terrible experiences of everyday racism other than five stars for surviving the utter BS handed out on a regular basis by our still racist society. This book (I did the Audible version which I do recommend as Amber and Lacey are the readers) is funny, sobering, and packs a punch. Hearing the things that Lacey and Amber have endured throughout their life—at school, in the workplace, in their neighborhood, etc—one right after the other really makes clear to w I don’t know how else to rate someone’s terrible experiences of everyday racism other than five stars for surviving the utter BS handed out on a regular basis by our still racist society. This book (I did the Audible version which I do recommend as Amber and Lacey are the readers) is funny, sobering, and packs a punch. Hearing the things that Lacey and Amber have endured throughout their life—at school, in the workplace, in their neighborhood, etc—one right after the other really makes clear to white readers and listeners just how different our American experiences truly are from one another. And—it emphasizes how much better white Americans need to be in educating themselves about the realities of racism in our country and to try to bring about change. Love Amber Ruffin from Late Night with Seth Meyers. Am now a huge Lacey fan as well.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kirsti

    Amber Ruffin is one of the most delightful, upbeat, zany, effusive people on television today. And she brings that energy to the book! But the book is about awful, shocking, disgustingly racist things that have happened to her and to her older sister Lacey (and their parents). I'm impressed with how adroitly the two of them balance humor and disgust. Some of the stories are gross but relatively minor, such as bafflingly stupid prejudiced comments by coworkers who are not used to being in the sam Amber Ruffin is one of the most delightful, upbeat, zany, effusive people on television today. And she brings that energy to the book! But the book is about awful, shocking, disgustingly racist things that have happened to her and to her older sister Lacey (and their parents). I'm impressed with how adroitly the two of them balance humor and disgust. Some of the stories are gross but relatively minor, such as bafflingly stupid prejudiced comments by coworkers who are not used to being in the same room as Black people. (Lacey lives in Omaha, which I think of as a big city, but bigger does not necessarily mean better.) Others are gross and large-scale, such as their parents' business being systematically destroyed. I listened to this on audiobook and flipped through an e-book copy. I definitely recommend the audio version because of the way the sisters tell the stories. But the e-book and paper versions have some great pictures. The best/most horrifying picture was from the time that Lacey went to a cosmetics counter during a promotional event. The makeup artist did not have the correct foundation color for Lacey's skin tone, but she could not or would not admit that. Note to makeup artists: If you don't have the right foundation color for someone with darker skin, then admit that, apologize, and try to figure out a work-around. Don't make a Black person look goth if they don't want to look goth. One little aside from this book that has stuck with me was when Amber mentioned that their parents used to buy boxes of old books at auction and leave them around the house. Because of this, each of the kids developed his or her own quirky hobbies, such as mosaics and bodybuilding.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Pbarber19

    A million examples of what everyday racism looks like, especially in the workplace. If you are white, this is one to read. We have so much work to do.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kelly (AndKellyReads)

    This book was as hilarious as it was horrifying and, my god, white people are garbage. Consider this book required reading and hop to it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chloe (Always Booked)

    This book started off really strong and funny for me, but then it just got a little repetitive. This book is about sisters Lacey and Amber. Lacey still lives in Omaha, NE and Amber now is a comedian in Chicago. Most of this book is Amber telling stories of things that Lacey has told her about that have happened living in the midwest. Lacey experiences a ton of racism and Amber says its both a serious issue and comical because its so outrageous. I wish we would've gotten more from Lacey directly. This book started off really strong and funny for me, but then it just got a little repetitive. This book is about sisters Lacey and Amber. Lacey still lives in Omaha, NE and Amber now is a comedian in Chicago. Most of this book is Amber telling stories of things that Lacey has told her about that have happened living in the midwest. Lacey experiences a ton of racism and Amber says its both a serious issue and comical because its so outrageous. I wish we would've gotten more from Lacey directly.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    2021 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge #2: a nonfiction book about anti-racism

  28. 4 out of 5

    Talie

    Thank you to Grand Central Pub for the complimentary copy of this book. In You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey, Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar do a brilliant job of making the topic of racism accessible to those that might not normally pick up an anti-racism book. They take situations that are commonplace in Lacey's life and make them humorous because, well quite honestly, people should know better. The book is a back and forth between Amber and Lacey as Amber relates her sister's experienc Thank you to Grand Central Pub for the complimentary copy of this book. In You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey, Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar do a brilliant job of making the topic of racism accessible to those that might not normally pick up an anti-racism book. They take situations that are commonplace in Lacey's life and make them humorous because, well quite honestly, people should know better. The book is a back and forth between Amber and Lacey as Amber relates her sister's experiences. I listened to the audiobook on this one while also reading the book and the audiobook feels like you are listening to two sisters talking on the phone. This back and forth provides a contrast between Amber's experiences living and working in larger cities with more politically correct coworkers, versus Lacey's experiences living in Omaha, Nebraska - the 40th largest city in the US. I really enjoyed this book a lot. I think the book's brilliance comes from the uncomfortable humor. Racism is not humorous. What is humorous is Amber Ruffin, her story telling ability, and the back and forth between the two sisters. AUDIOBOOK vs BOOK - I listened to the audiobook of this one while having the book handy for reading when I wanted to. The book does include a lot of visuals. In the audiobook Amber describes the visuals in such a way that I don't think you lose a lot of content by not having the physical book available. What you gain with the audiobook is the voice of Amber Ruffin. She is a gifted comedian and her delivery is hilarious.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Peacegal

    I spent the entire audiobook in a mix of laughter, discomfort, sadness, and horror, as I suspect that will be the general state of readers. From having a cop pull a gun on her for skipping down an alleyway to the perils of grade school art class and the local JC Penney, Lacey (and Amber, and their family) have had some messed-up experiences as Black people in Omaha, Nebraska, and well, just America in general. I kept thinking, "Oh my god, somebody did that?!" to the latest extremely bizarre and I spent the entire audiobook in a mix of laughter, discomfort, sadness, and horror, as I suspect that will be the general state of readers. From having a cop pull a gun on her for skipping down an alleyway to the perils of grade school art class and the local JC Penney, Lacey (and Amber, and their family) have had some messed-up experiences as Black people in Omaha, Nebraska, and well, just America in general. I kept thinking, "Oh my god, somebody did that?!" to the latest extremely bizarre and offensive thing in the memoir....and then I thought to myself, I know people who would say or do those things. We all do. Many people, myself included, tend to think of racism as being defined by a guy in white robes yelling hate speech. But in reality, that's not what most racism actually looks like in the U.S. I suspect African-American readers will be nodding along with this book, and white readers will have their eyes opened--and maybe learn how not to behave, if they say/do those offensive things. But don't think this book is an endless downer, as it really isn't. The author is a wonderful narrator and this book is a great find.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chaitra

    This is hilarious and horrible. Amber and Lacey conveyed the WTF comedy of it all, but also, I felt sick to my stomach. I agree with both of them, it was a lot to have faced in a supposedly "post racial" America (which turned out to be a piece of crock). Edit: I loved Amber and Lacey's mom, and I hope the next book is all about what would mom do, or what she did do in terrible situations. This is hilarious and horrible. Amber and Lacey conveyed the WTF comedy of it all, but also, I felt sick to my stomach. I agree with both of them, it was a lot to have faced in a supposedly "post racial" America (which turned out to be a piece of crock). Edit: I loved Amber and Lacey's mom, and I hope the next book is all about what would mom do, or what she did do in terrible situations.

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