Previously, we blogged about an essay on students in for-profit schools that happened to coincide with Stephen S. Mills’s Rumpus essay about employees of for-profit schools.
That essay’s author, inequality scholar Tressie McMillan Cottom, has a stunning new essay up on her blog, understated but heart-rending, exploring the motivations people have for spending beyond their means. A preview:
It took half a day but something about my mother’s performance of respectable black person — her Queen’s English, her Mahogany outfit, her straight bob and pearl earrings — got done what the elderly lady next door had not been able to get done in over a year. I learned, watching my mother, that there was a price we had to pay to signal to gatekeepers that we were worthy of engaging.