Sisters Amber Ruffin & Lacey Lamar talk about new book on racism

Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 6:40 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Stories about racism are not something we normally laugh about.

However, sisters Lacey Lamar and Amber Ruffin, a writer and performer on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and host of “The Amber Ruffin Show,” laughed as they shared some personal stories.

Many of those stories can be found in a book they co-authored: “You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism.”

“This book walks the fine line between comedy and tragedy and we just think that’s where some of the funniest stuff is,” Amber explained.

The book details instances of racism Lacey, who still lives in Omaha, said she experienced and documented throughout the years.

“Anytime something happened to me I’d be like that’s chapter five,” Lacey said.

The sisters, born and raised in Omaha, are holding a virtual book tour, making a stop in their hometown on Saturday. Local nonprofit Inclusive Communities will host the tour, set to begin at 5:45 p.m. Tickets are on sale now.

Amber says many of the stories included in the book happened in Nebraska, and some are fairly recent.

“Those stories happened to Lacey. Most of them in Omaha, Nebraska. And yes, you probably know some of the people — Omaha is only so big,” she said.

One story that sticks out to Amber is when her sister tried to use a check with a picture of a historical black figure printed on it.

“And the cashier takes the check and goes I didn’t know you could get your own pictures on checks. And Lacey goes...that’s Harriet Tubman,” Amber said.

Amber and Lacey said they’re able to laugh about these stories now, and while they hope others do too, they want it to lead to bigger conversations.

“It can also be a way for black people to go ‘hey this happened to me and it made me feel like this’ because that’s not something we do,” Amber explained.

Lacey also hopes it encourages people to always be their authentic selves.

“As women, especially as women of color, we tend to be sheepish at work We don’t want to rock the boat We don’t want to stick out, but sometimes you have to,” she said.

The book is now in stores. It puts a spotlight on Omaha, Nebraska, but Lacey said she loves her city.

“I don’t want people to think that Omaha is just this absolutely horrible place. We do have a lot of work to do. I live in a great community, and I have a great support system there are people that are trying to make a change in Omaha,” she added.

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