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The Book Nook

Le Coin Lecture

Curl up and grab one of these books to help you navigate the work that's ahead.

This list is meant to help, challenge, and encourage discussions around DEI, Anti-Racism and Emerging Leadership practices. 

February, 2024

You'll Never Believe - Amber Ruffin & Lacey Lamar.png



By: Nyo Malek

What's this about?

The sisters, Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar, shed light on their experiences of anti-black racism while growing up and living in Omaha, Nebraska, from 1980-2020. The pair use comedic relief to share their everyday stories of racism, from buying donuts at a donut shop to being followed in a department store or just existing while being Black in the workplace. You'll be able to partake in the entertaining, relatable or eye-opening (depending on how the story relates to your lived experiences) and real stories.

About the Authors

Amber Ruffin hosts the Amber Ruffin Show on NBC and used to be a writer and a member of the Late Night with Seth Meyers show. She also was a writer for HBO's A Black Lady Sketch Show. 


Lacey Lamar has worked in healthcare and human service for over twenty-five years. She also gives back to her community through volunteering with different Black, Brown, and Indigenous individuals.


Race, Humour, Social Justice

What We Liked

Between the humour and stories on racism, you’re consistently reminded of the camaraderie and warmth with the conversational tone between the sisters, enabling you to witness the uplifting, support, and Black love shared among them. 


What we remember: 

Lamar and Ruffin use humour to highlight anti-black racism throughout each story. In infusing comedy to these typically traumatic stories, the pair deliver a more serious theme in a medium accessible for different audiences to relate to and learn from.

What this book is : a comedic take highlighting everyday discrimination through the perspective of two Black sisters.

What this book isn't : This book does not villainize white people or exaggerate racism. Instead, the sisters highlight how pervasive anti-black racism and discrimination are for Black people in America.

Why You Should Read This

A common reason for continued adversity is a lack of understanding of perspectives different from our own. As a Black person reading this book, you can laugh and commiserate over the familiarities in the stories of your own life. As an ally, non-Black people should read this book to receive first-hand knowledge of some of Black people's everyday experiences of existing in spaces while being Black. Whether you read this book on your own or add this to your Book Club's rotation, you will leave the book with many lessons and a deeper understanding of how common everyday racism is. 

To continue your learning from an intergenerational perspective, Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar have written another book highlighting the stories from the people in their family, The World Record Book of Racist Stories.

Quick Quotes

"I was in a meeting with my boss for thirty-two minutes― thirty-two minutes. When the meeting was over, she said to me, “Now send Lacey in because I’m supposed to meet with her soon.” I said, “I am Lacey!” and we sat there in silence and then she apologized. I gave a lesson on how not being able to tell Black people apart is racist.”

"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 never makes any 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!"

"We want to use this book to make sure people understand that when something racist happens to you, you can say it. You can feel however it makes you feel and you can talk to people about it. You have the right. It can hit you however it hits you at that exact moment. You can express your feelings about it or not, or just tell the story and leave your feelings out, or just say your feelings and leave the story out - it's your world. There's a billion studies about why you should speak positively, mediate, how to handle loss, and stuff like that, but when it comes to how to live in a country made to abuse you, who the fuck knows. So do what you feel."

Get the Gist

Read what Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar had to say about their book in this article.

How does it fare?

“Amber and Lacey have the gift of making you comfortable enough to laugh at events that will also make you cringe. This book is an opportunity for Black people to know you’re not alone in how you’ve experienced the world. And for everyone this book is a chance to see a layer of this world that you might have been blind to. You’ll leave both with a laugh and a little more knowledge."
- Roy Wood Jr., Correspondent, the Daily Show with Trevor Noah

"The stories are delivered with the humor and horror they deserve. You will laugh, you will be enraged, and if you are a white person, you will understand more than you did before about the truth of being Black in America - even if you thought you understood a lot already."

- Busy Phillips, Author, Actor, White Lady

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