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“Thick: And Other Essays” by Tressie McMillan Cottom

Tressie McMillan Cottom’s Thick: And Other Essays is an enlightening and thought-provoking collection of essays that address issues surrounding race, gender, identity, politics and pop culture.

Drawing on her personal experiences, as well as her educational background, Cottom offers an insightful perspective on the complexities of life in the 21st century.

Through this collection of essays, she encourages readers to challenge their preconceived notions and to think more deeply about the world around them.

Themes & Style

Thick features a wide range of essays that touch upon topics such as racism and intersectionality, gender and sexuality, class divides, beauty standards and body image. Cottom’s writing style is conversational yet incisive; her thoughtful analysis is presented in a way that is both accessible and thought-provoking.

With her fresh perspective on current issues, she encourages readers to look past the surface level and to consider the deeper implications of our actions and beliefs.

Writing Quality

Cottom’s language is precise and effective; she utilizes vivid imagery to both illustrate her points and draw readers in. Her voice is confident yet humble; she never pushes an agenda but instead invites readers to come along for a ride as she shares stories from her own life or delves into social issues with thoughtful consideration of their complexity.


The book consists of 13 essays divided into three sections – “Black Love & Logic” (3 essays), “Body Politics” (7 essays), and “Politics & Pop Culture” (3 essays). Each section serves to explore different aspects of the world we live in today while offering a unique insight into how our individual experiences shape how we view the world.


Overall, Thick: And Other Essays is an engaging collection of thought-provoking essays that will leave readers with plenty to ponder.

By providing an accessible yet critical exploration of current social issues through personal anecdotes, Cottom invites us all to challenge our preconceived notions about identity politics and consider our place within an ever-changing world.

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