You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey!
Here I am, a 70+ white grandmother to a brown-skinned, beautiful thirteen-year-old girl. When I purchased this book I hoped it would provide enough information for me to “fix” the racism I see everywhere around this child. I completed “You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey,” wondering if we can ever “fix” it.
I want to be completely honest here. I’m terrified of what my granddaughter will face in the years to come. Honestly, the sisters wrote this book to make people laugh, as they looked at the ridiculous things people say and do around people of color.
Most days, I honestly don’t believe everyone intends to be racist. Those of us with white skin simply don’t understand how deeply our ignorance hurts those with naturally brown skin. (Not that I didn’t spend every hour possible in the sun as a teen to emulate that beautiful brown sheen!)
My situation is so personal that I have to admit I laughed very little while reading Lacey and Amber’s account of life in the Midwest. There were moments when I cried and others when the accounts horrified me and pulled me back into my memories of racism in the rural Midwest in the ’50s and 60s.
Waking up to Racism
If you’ve read my blog, you will remember the story of the black football star in the ’60s who saved me from an attack by five white boys. That event changed everything for me concerning racism. I realized for the first time in my life that there are both excellent traits and bad in everyone, regardless of color.
Maybe it’s because of that life experience that I found this book so difficult to read. If you’re white, I hope you are as uncomfortable reading it as I was. If not, you may be part of the problem. It’s not until we all consume and understand what Lacey and Amber share, that we have any hope of making this world a better place for all of us to live.
I urge you to pick up a copy of “You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey…Crazy Stories About Racism,” and prepare yourself to face some humiliating and abusive situations. If you live Black in America, this is what you see and hear every day. If you’re white-skinned, it’s time you step up and realize this is not Okay. Stop basking in your white privilege and read the book to show the world what we can do to right the wrongs of the generations who came before us and change those racists who still exist.
Excerpt from the “Intro” of Amber and Lacey’s Examples of Racism
“I don’t know what effect stories like the se have on the people they happen to, on the people who hear them, or on the people who need to hear them. When you hear these stories and think, None of these stories are okay, you are right. And, when you hear these stories and think, Dang, that’s hilarious, you are right. They’re both.”
“There are going to be a lot of times while you’re reading this book when you think, There is no motivation for this action. It seems like this story is missing a part because people just aren’t this nonsensically cruel. But where you see no motivation, you understand racism a little more. It’s this weird, unprovoked lashing out, and it makes no sense. It’s why it’s so easy for people to believe the police when they beat someone up — because no one would be that cruel just because the person was Black. But they are! So, as you read this book, when you see there’s no motivation, know that there is racism.”
Introducing Sisters Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar:
About the Authors – Growing up in the Midwest, Experiencing Racism…Daily
Amber Ruffin was born in Omaha, Nebraska. She moved to Chicago, and a theater called Boom Chicago in Amsterdam hired her. Amber did improv shows for what felt to her like a billion years. She also did shows in Chicago at the Second City Mainstage. In 2014, Amber became the first Black woman to write for a late-night network talk show in the United States. She’s a writer/performer on Late Night with Seth Meyers. She is also the host of The Amber Ruffin Show on the new NBC streaming service, Peacock.
Lacey Lamar is Amber Ruffin’s big sister. She was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and was the middle child in the family. She is currently working as a program director and loves the challenge of creating safe spaces for the celebration of the African American culture. According to Amber, Lacey is a magnet for people’s inappropriate behavior because she’s small, nice, and cute. Most of her stories in this book come from her former places of employment.
Connect with Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar
Amber on Facebook