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BOOK REVIEW: You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey

by Bri Little

There is no shortage of books about racism, and since the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, anti-racist books have been pushed to the forefront as essential reading. I have read a number of books about racism to interrogate my own internalized anti-Blackness, but most of them, paradoxically, center whiteness because the author usually writes for the benefit and education of white readers. Texts as teaching tools do have their place, but anti-racist books aiming to help Black people cope with their experiences of racial violence are few and far between.

In Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar’s 2021 release, You’ll Never Believe What Happened To Lacey, the sisters use a fresh, intentional approach to recount the constant barrage of macro- and microaggressions Black women endure and often internalize. With pitch-perfect humor, heart, and a take-no-prisoners attitude, Ruffin, a comedian, and her sister, Lamar, whom most of the stories are about, offer kinship in sharing their experiences, and freedom, in the ways we can respond to this violence. 

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