Tressie McMillan Cottom

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Tressie McMillan Cottom

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Member Since
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.

Popular Answered Questions

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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Tressie’s Recent Updates

Tressie McMillan Cottom wrote a new blog post

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 Christm Read more of this blog post »
Lower Ed by Tressie McMillan Cottom
"A clear book about a complicated subject. Sometimes dense and academic, but always with a strong voice. Frames the financialization of post-secondary eductation as similar to mortgage financialization (and other efforts to move from government suppor" Read more of this review »
Lower Ed by Tressie McMillan Cottom
"Just as good as everyone says it is. What really stood out to me was how Tressie frames the discussion of for-profits not as an educational conversation (where it tends to reside), but as a broader result of the way work and employment are changing. " Read more of this review »
Tressie rated a book really liked it
Clean and White by Carl Zimring
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Sharply written. This book works on several levels. It is a good, tight summation of the formation of racialization in the U.S. (and, by extension, the global racial hierarchy). It also provides a really interesting cultural history of waste manageme ...more
Lower Ed by Tressie McMillan Cottom
"Must read for anyone interested in education in our nation! A gripping and intricate story of greed, betrayal, and larceny against students, brought to life by Tressie McMillan Cottom with precision and clarity."
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Evicted by Matthew Desmond
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Detroit by Dan Georgakas
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Tressie answered Goodreads's question: 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 I always experience these times as "oh I must need to read more" and not writer's block. More person See Full Answer
Tressie is on page 90 of 238 of In the Face of Inequality
In the Face of Inequality by Melissa E. Wooten
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More of Tressie's books…
“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

“Decades before I valued myself enough to be careful for myself, I was careful so that my mother would not worry.”
Tressie McMillan Cottom, Thick: And Other Essays

“Black girlhood ends whenever a man says it ends.”
Tressie McMillan Cottom, Thick: And Other Essays

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