I love The New Press. I have discovered so many amazing writers through them that I would most likely not have heard of otherwise. Nowadays I frequently check their upcoming releases, which is how I found out about Tressie McMillan Cottom. Thick is my introduction into Tressie McMillan Cottom’s work, and it’s an absolute must read. I feel embarrassed that I haven’t read her work before because it is brilliant, honest, and so full of truths.
Thick is a collection of essays covering topics such as education, entertainment, beauty standards, and healthcare amongst others, written from the standpoint of a black American woman, scholar, sociologist, feminist, and award-winning professor. Tressie McMillan Cottom uses fact, experience, personal thought, and an overall look of our society in general to provide thought-provoking, deep, intense, and very, very important view of topics that we cannot shy away from. I love how she writes: direct, accessible, but also full of well-researched facts and information that drive her points and intent home. And there is a lot of humor in these essays too, you will laugh out loud, but you will also shed a tear.
Tressie McMillan Cottom is also fearless in her writing, and doesn’t hesitate to go deep, and really force you to think about your own role in perpetuating prejudices and white supremacy. So much of this book resonated very strongly with me, I found myself nodding my head and saying “THIS” so many times through-out. So much of the content also made me realize how much I do not know, and would not know about if I didn’t actively seek out information on. Tressie McMillan Cottom brings up many challenging topics that are important to digest and talk about. And very, very hard to talk about too. Sexual assault, rape, and abuse, beauty standards created in the image of the white woman and perpetuated by us all, infant mortality, and continuous assumption that black women will always do all the work while others reap the benefits.
This review will never be able to do Thick the justice it deserves. All I can say is read it please. If you only read one collection of essays this year, read this one. Especially now.
Thanks to The New Press and Netgalley for the ARC!