You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism (Compact Disc)

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By Amber Ruffin (Read by), Lacey Lamar (Read by)
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Staff Reviews

If you have not already been blessed by the absolute delight that is Amber Ruffin, then let me tell you that she is hilarious, whip smart and she'll charm your darn socks off! This book, co-written with her sister, Lacey, essentially takes the form of a socially-distant conversation. Their affectionate teasing and abundant humor tempers the stories they each share about their painful experiences with racism. Lacey, especially, who has remained in their hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, has some of the craziest, but also (sadly, because I am a white woman living in the Midwest) all-too-believable and sometimes cringingly familiar stories of her interactions with white people. So many of her stories occur in the workplace and it was affecting to be confronted with this unrelenting proof of how difficult the most banal human experiences become for a person who is not white. In a time when we're surrounded by stories (important stories) about some of the most deeply horrifying and violent racial episodes, it was somehow more powerful to get this reminder of how deeply racism has penetrated our institutions and our society; how often it goes unseen, unacknowledged and unchecked; and how much a person like me has the privilege of taking for granted. Amber and Lacey are both unbelievably generous with their readers - providing levity when needed and even including palate cleansers (like a strategically placed photo of a cute baby duck) at the end of particularly brutal chapters. But, they also refuse to let anyone off the hook. And, why should they? The stories they're telling are true and only a fraction of the experiences they've lived. The cumulative effect is extremely powerful. So, don't be fooled into thinking that because this book is funny in places, it's fluff. These amazing women have been incredibly generous with their stories and I feel so grateful for the opportunity to have read them.

— Nicole

January 2021 Indie Next List

“I didn’t think it was possible to combine education and humor so effectively in a book about racism, but Ruffin and Lamar proved me wrong. This incredibly well-structured, digestible, challenging, and engaging book opened my eyes to the many ways racism can permeate every interaction in Black people’s lives. The way the sisters play off each other and how Ruffin reflects on Lamar’s experience in contrast to her own make the book especially accessible. A must-read!”
— Emily Autenrieth, A Seat at the Table Books, Elk Grove, CA


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.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781549162428
ISBN-10: 154916242X
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: January 12th, 2021
Language: English