Amber Ruffin and her sister Lacey Lamar grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. Amber moved to New York City where, in 2014, she became the first ever black female writer on a network late-night show when she joined the staff of “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” She still works there, writing and appearing on camera - often singing - always hilarious - and in September of 2020, NBC’s streaming platform, Peacock premiered “The Amber Ruffin Show” - a no-guest and, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, audience-less half-hour where Ruffin and the show’s announcer, her friend, Tarik Davis, wear zazzy suits and talk about current events.
In hosting this show, Amber joins a long list of Jo(h)n’s, Johnny’s and Jimmy’s - mostly white - looking at a camera or two and giving you their take. By her own account, she is having a blast.
Her sister, Lacey Lamar, still lives and works in Omaha. She loves Omaha. She has worked in the healthcare and human service field for more than twenty-five years, thirteen of those working with troubled youth. And she deals with something racist every single day. She’s petite (though also a body-builder!) and attractive - and black.
Lacey calls Amber and tells her stories about HR people freezing her out, white people shoving their entire hand into her hair, getting followed around by power-hungry mall security and countless others. Some that repeat in a predictable pattern, some brand new and straight out of seemingly nowhere. Of course - the stories aren’t from “nowhere.” The stories are from systemic racism.
So Lacey tells her latest tale. And Amber laughs. And Lacey laughs.
“You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism” is the sisters' new book, it’s published by Grand Central. Amber and Lacey will be doing an Oblong Online event on Thursday, January 21 at 7pm. The event will be hosted via Crowdcast and will be moderated by Lacey Schwartz Delgado.