You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey is a must-read for anyone who wonders if racism is still a problem, or anyone needing a good laugh to cope with the people who wonder if racism is still a problem.
Amber Ruffin writes and performs on The Seth Myers Show and hosts The Amber Ruffin Show. She is ebullient and assertive (when a cop tells her not to run down an alley, she corrects him with, “I’m not running, I’m skipping”). Her sister Lacey Lamar lives in Omaha, Nebraska and works as a director for a nonprofit organization. As the only Black person in the room, she often hears rude, dumb, racist garbage. The sisters have collected these stories to make the reader laugh, and/or feel seen, and/or feel furious.
For example, the story on the first page is about a cashier’s reaction to Lacey’s Black history checks (“Wow! You have checks with your picture on ‘em?”). In the book, the story is followed by a picture of the Harriet Tubman check, and then a check with Lacey’s face on it, and no, they do not look alike. In the audiobook, Amber can hardly choke back her giggles as she implores you to look at their two faces!!! It’s horrible and hysterical at the same time.
Is it better to read or listen to You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey? The book has maps, creepy stalker letters, and many excellent photos. The audiobook has singing, sisterly banter, and Amber howling in disbelief at the fools Lacey has to suffer. Honestly, read and listen to both, because it’s hard to digest these stories all at once.