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.