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Tressie McMillan Cottom
A newsletter featuring uncompromising writing about public life for a bold community of thinkers, writers, and readers.
Created 18 Feb 2021
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  • Big News and Big Thanks
    12 Aug 2021 • 2 min read • 113 53
    I thought about burying the lede to make you really work for it, you know? But, we aren’t that kind of community. It has been announced today that I am joining the New York Times as a Contributing Opi...
  • Diddy, Love, and Writing The Near-Present
    03 Aug 2021 • < 1 min read • 100 23
    In one of the coolest “What I Did Over Summer Break” stories I will be able to tell, I wrote the cover story for the September 2021 issue of Vanity Fair. The issue reflects on the turn of the 21st cen...
  • Financial Advice for People With Cousins
    27 Jul 2021 • < 1 min read • 152 30
    Dominique Baker, an Assistant Professor of Education Policy at Southern Methodist University, is a great scholar and friend. You can check out her stellar Senate testimony and read her expert opinion ...
  • Speaking of Tenure …
    22 Jul 2021 • < 1 min read • 106 17
    Earlier this week, I wrote about my position on what tenure is, what an institution cannot do, and how I make sense of it for myself. I shared this Inside Higher Ed article about the dismal tenure num...
  • Let’s Talk About Tenure
    20 Jul 2021 • < 1 min read • 89 20
    Facebook memories reminded me this week that it has been 12 years since I started graduate school. That means it has been almost seven years since I became a member of the professoriate. Without a dou...
  • The Very Real Social Problem of Ugly Discrimination
    15 Jul 2021 • < 1 min read • 159 15
    The very first public essay I ever wrote that went “viral” in a way that we would recognize today is a piece about beauty and racial capitalism. People thought it was about Miley Cyrus. Hell, I though...
  • The Blind Spots of the White Gaze
    13 Jul 2021 • 1 min read • 30 2
    I had the opportunity to review a standout debut book for the New York Times Book Review, out today. Don’t Let It Get You Down is an essay collection by UC-Berkeley law professor Savala Nolan, who cle...
  • My Marriage Ideal (Yes, I Have One)
    11 Jul 2021 • < 1 min read • 129 30
    Where did you get your cultural scripts about marriage? How did race and gender and class shape those messages for you? I’m still not sold on the whole enterprise. I did it once after being asked a fe...
  • Not Married to Marriage Culture
    09 Jul 2021 • < 1 min read • 119 23
    As I mentioned, I am writing a book or two. At the same time. Because that is how my mind works. I start with reading lists and clean notebooks and, nowadays, my Remarkable tablet. Read more
  • Cracking the Medical Code
    03 Jul 2021 • < 1 min read • 195 29
    If you have read THICK or followed me on any of the socials for any stretch of time, then you know that I have an issue with medical doctors. [I like to call them that very overtly because it annoys t...