Wednesday, January 13, 2021

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

 

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

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