Tressie McMillan Cottom

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Tressie McMillan Cottom

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November 2011

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Tressie McMillan Cottom has been called "a master of metaphor" (Soraya McDonald), one of "America's most bracing thinkers on race, gender, and capitalism of our time" (Rebecca Traister) and "one of the finest public intellectuals writing today" (Roxane Gay). McMillan Cottom centers black women in uncommonly incisive analysis of social problems. She lives in Richmond, Virginia where she is an associate professor of sociology. ...more

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Tressie McMillan Cottom You're going to kill me but I've never really had writer's block. I have had times when I did not write. I have had times when I could not write. But …moreYou're going to kill me but I've never really had writer's block. I have had times when I did not write. I have had times when I could not write. But I always experience these times as "oh I must need to read more" and not writer's block. More personally, the only time I've been totally unable to write is when I tried an anti-depressant. I took it three days, couldn't write, and promptly called the doctor and told him if I wasn't crazy when I started that not being able to write was guaranteed to make me mad. I stopped cold turkey. Never do that, by the way. But I will choose to feel the depths of hell over being unable to write. I am fortunate that's not a real choice I've ever had to make. I am deeply empathetic to those for whom it's a real choice.

Shorter all this: I can almost always write and when I can't write easily I assume it means I haven't read enough. Rinse. Repeat. (less)
Tressie McMillan Cottom I did not want to write this book! I kept waiting for someone else, anyone else to write this book and make this argument. I wanted only to *cite* som…moreI did not want to write this book! I kept waiting for someone else, anyone else to write this book and make this argument. I wanted only to *cite* something like this book. The connections seemed to be right there. I figured that if I could see them so clearly then they must not be valuable or very smart. I figured someone smarter than me had noticed those connections and chosen not to write about them because they were too smart to do it.

In the end, my editor convinced me that the story was meaningful. And, my friends convinced me that no one else was ever going to get around to writing it. I was afraid no one would write it because people simply did not care about the people in for-profit colleges and couldn't truly see them. That made me angry. And nothing gets me writing better, faster, and more reliably than being pissed off at some injustice. (less)
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More books by Tressie McMillan Cottom…

Deviance and Hallmark Christmas Movies

The title is click-bait.


If you follow me on That Social Media site you know two things about me: I love Dolly Parton and I am mad for Hallmark Christmas movies. As the former goes without saying, I will say a bit more about latter.


Hallmark Christmas movies are a genre. They are a phenomenon. I’m a sociologist. I am sold just on those two things alone.


I also grew up on Harlequin romance novels. The

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Published on December 22, 2017 10:33

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“Beauty is not good capital. I compounds the oppression of gender. It constrains those who identify as women against their will. It costs money and demands money. It colonizes. It hurts. It is painful. It can never be fully satisfied. It is not useful for human flourishing. Beauty is, like all capital, merely valuable.”
Tressie McMillan Cottom, Thick: And Other Essays

“Smart is only a construct of correspondence, between one’s abilities, one’s environment, and one’s moment in history.”
Tressie McMillan Cottom, Thick: And Other Essays

“They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that ugly is as ugly does. Both are lies. Ugly is everything done to you in the name of beauty. Knowing the difference is part of getting free.”
Tressie McMillan Cottom, Thick: And Other Essays

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