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In the fall of 1991, Anita Hill captured the country's attention, when she testified before the US Senate Judiciary Committee describing sexual harassment by Clarence Thomas, who had been her boss, and was about to ascend to the Supreme Court. We know what happened: she was challenged, disbelieved, and humiliated; he was given a life-long appointment to decide America's judicial fate. What is less known is how many women and men were inspired because of Anita Hill's bravery, how her testimony changed the feminist...
In the fall of 1991, Anita Hill captured the country's attention, when she testified before the US Senate Judiciary Committee describing sexual harassment by Clarence Thomas, who had been her boss, and was about to ascend to the Supreme Court. We know what happened: she was challenged, disbelieved, and humiliated; he was given a life-long appointment to decide America's judicial fate. What is less known is how many women and men were inspired because of Anita Hill's bravery, how her testimony changed the feminist movement, and how she singlehandedly brought public awareness to the issue of sexual harassment. Thomas might have won his seat, but Anita Hill's legacy mobilized the women's movement and our need to demand more than the status quo.
Twenty years later, this collection brings together three generations to witness, respond to, and analyze Hill's impact and present insights in law; politics; the confluence of race, class, and gender; the persistent questioning of women's credibility; and current cases of sexual harassment. With original contributions by Anita Hill, Melissa Harris-Perry, Catharine MacKinnon, Patricia J. Williams, Eve Ensler, Ai Jen Poo, Kimberly Crenshaw, Lynn Nottage, Gloria Steinem, Lani Guinier, Lisa Kron, Mary Oliver, Edwidge Danticat, Kevin Powell, and many others.
Amy Richards is the author of Opting In, co-author of Manifesta, and co-founder of Soapbox, Inc.
Cynthia Greenberg organized Sex, Power, and Speaking Truth: Anita Hill 20 Years Later, a conference at Hunter College in 2011.
"This powerful book preserves the essays and conversations from the October 2011 conference organized at Hunter College for the 20th anniversary of Anita Hill’s testimony at Clarence Thomas’s Senate confirmation hearings. The eloquent results explore the hearings themselves—in which Hill charged that Supreme Court nominee Thomas had sexually harassed her—as well as their impact on the legal, social, and cultural landscape, and the lives of the authors. Broken into four sections, the book includes reminiscences by key figures such as Charles Ogletree, Hill’s lead counsel, and Representatives Louise Slaughter and Patricia Schroeder, part of the delegation of women from the House who demanded an inquiry into the allegations, alongside essays by younger feminists, and a strong essay by Hill herself (now a professor at Brandeis University). The essays are by turns personal and analytical, but all are moving and engrossing. The volume also includes wonderful poems and performance pieces from the event, authored by the likes of Edwidge Danticat and Eve Ensler. These timely essays show us how those historic hearings brought sexual harassment (especially in the workplace) into the public eye, while also revealing what still hasn’t changed, and reminding us of the intersection of race, class, gender, and power that underlies this contentious issue." -Publishers Weekly
Editors' Note Amy Richards Cynthia Greenberg 11
Excerpts from the Testimony of Anita Hill 13
When You Speak Up Eve Ensler 17
Introduction Amy Richards 23
A Comment, Not Casual, Concerning Anita Hill Mary Oliver 25
Part I Witnesses: What Happened?
Remembrances: The Anita Hill Hearings-Twenty Years Later Louise M. Slaughter Maureen Dowd Patricia Schroeder 29
A Thank You Note to Anita Hill Letty Cottin Pogrebin 33
Twenty Years Later Dorothy Samuels 36
Anita Hill: Still Speaking Truth to Power Twenty Years Later Charles Ogletree 38
But Some of Us Are Brave Lani Guinier 43
Old and New Depictions of Justice: Reflections, circa 2011, on Hill-Thomas Judith Resnik 51
Voice, Heart, Ground Catharine A. MacKinnon 71
But I Could Be Jamia Wilson 75
Don't Get Me Started on These Women… Lisa Kron 80
Part II Responders: What Does Anita Hill Mean to You?
Nita Faye Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes 89
What Does Anita Hill Mean to You? Pat Mitchell Joanne N. Smith Ai-jen Poo Emily May Melissa V. Harris-Perry Rha Goddess 96
Word Power Hope Anita Smith 113
Part III I Still Believe Anita Hill
A Poem for Anita Hill Kevin Powell 121
What Does Credibility Look Like? Patricia J. Williams 131
Give Your Child Your Luggage, Not Your Baggage Anita F. Hill 135
Good Morning Anita Hill Edwidge Danticat 143
Part IV What Have we Learned in Twenty Years and What Comes Next?
The Bloodless Coup Deborah Copaken Kogan 149
Severe and Pervasive Kathleen Peratis 154
Stunned but Not Bowed Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw 158
Sex, Power, and Change: Where Do We Go Now? Virginia Valian 184
Supremacy Crimes Gloria Steinem 196
Very Easy to Say and Very Hard to Do-Even Twenty Years Later Devon W. Carbado 203
How to Run with It Julie Zeilinger 210
The Scarlet C Lynn Nottage 216
Afterword Cynthia Greenberg 221
Additional Excerpts from the Testimony of Anita Hill 225
Discussion Questions 232
Toolkit for Addressing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace 233
Co-Sponsors and Additional Resources 239