Monday, January 18, 2021

You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey by Amber Ruffin & Lacey Lamar

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.


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