This book is something else. Thick consists of eight short essays -- "takes" really -- in which Cottam applies the professional discipline of sociological investigation to her experience of being a southern black girl and woman working her way through our hostile country. She relates the terrible tale of losing her premature infant after three days of unrecognized labor within a medical system designed not to hear a black woman's description of her pain. She skewers the bigotry of academia (and beyond) which would be so much more comfortable with her if she could just be exotic: "Didn't I have any African in my family?" She explores the truth that for black girls, "home is both a refuge and where your most intimate betrayals happen."
More lightly, arguing both seriously and satirically that white "mainstream" media needs black women writing about life's "mundane machinations," she explains about her difficulties in acquiring a larger garbage can:
There's more in a pseudo-David Brooks style, but you will have guessed she knew how to work the white people's system, so she got her can. And she nailed both her city and opinion columnizing.
Cottam writes with a consciousness of a calling:
I enjoyed Thick immensely.