I had the pleasure of reading an upcoming memoir/collection of essays by Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom, whose previous work Lower Ed is a great treatise on the state of for profit colleges and how students navigate the various entries into education. The opportunity to read Thick was provided by NetGalley. If you haven’t had a chance to follow Dr. McMillan Cottom on Twitter, I would advise you to do so otherwise, you can find her work in a wide variety of public spaces.
In Thick, Dr. McMillan Cottom guides the reader through the thick lived experience that will resonate with many readers. Her voice is indeed thick like a nice glass of sweet tea that your aunt or grandmother would make with just enough sugar to make you feel like you could definitely have a second glass.
I was hooked by Thick after reading a few pages because the experiences described resonated with me deeply. The further I read, the more I was pushed to affirm myself and my own lived experiences. Each chapter was indeed thick in truth and wisdom.
I cannot wait to purchase a copy of Thick. As I read, I realized that each sentence would stay with me, in fact many sections are written on my heart but I need to have them highlighted just to bring them to memory.
One of the most compelling parts of Thick is how it gives the reader(particularly Black women) not only permission to be who you are unapologetically but it pushes you to not stop, it affirms you to say “Yes, you have been right all along and you have to keep going”.
Thick is not a quick read, rather it is a jolt of electricity to the heart that seeks to let you know that your voice matters no matter what you may face each day. While it touches on the truth that so many Black women have endured since the beginning of time, it does offer a new way of walking into our excellence.
In addition, Thick offers gems for various moods or seasons that you may find yourself in. It caused my deepest emotions to burst forth in a life affirming way. There were sections that made me howl with laughter and there were sections that made me weep in a way that only someone who feels seen can ever reach.
Although Dr. McMillan Cottom is a thinker, I would also put her in a category of preacher due to the life affirming words that she offers forth into the world and the refrain that serves as the hook to this swan song which puts freedom in our hands. The larger takeaway becomes what are you going to do after you fix your feet?
*I did not receive any compensation to offer this book review*