By Jueseppi B.
Professor Anita Hill Hill, a professor at Brandeis University, is the subject of a documentary titled Anita that debuts in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York theaters on Friday. The documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last year.
ANITA Trailer (Anita Hill Documentary Film – 2014)
Published on Jan 17, 2014
Documentary About Anita Hill Recounts Explosive Clarence Thomas Sexual Harassment Hearing
A film is set to hit theaters featuring the story of Anita Hill, the woman who accused then Supreme Court judge nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment.
The trailer opens with the question, “Who here knows about Anita Hill?” The woman asking the question to a room full of young black girls is met with blank stares. However, on March 21st when the documentary hits theaters, more people will definitely know Ms. Hill’s story.
Hill’s testimony during the 1991 Senate hearings set off a firestorm ofdebates around race and sexism. President George Bush, Sr. nominated Thomas to the Supreme Court to replace Thurgood Marshall on the bench. During that time, Anita Hill’s testimony to the FBI about sexual harassment she said she experienced while working with Thomasleaked to the press, calling for a series of hearings to investigate Thomas’ character. However, many observers and critics have said that it seemed the one who was being investigated and “vilified” was Anita Hill.
Some of the accusations included, “leaving pubes on his soda cans just so he could ask about it aloud” and “chats about bestiality and his penis’ nickname, among other things,” as summarized by Jezebel.
In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Hill says she doesn’t regret testifying.
In 1991, when I was called to testify — I was actually subpoenaed — I set myself a goal to truthfully talk about the experience I had with Clarence Thomas because I thought, and I still think, that it reflected on his ability to be an impartial judge in any case involving the law, but certainly any case involving civil rights, inequality issues. Having done that, yes, it was worth it. I have no regrets.
Hill is currently a professor of social policy, law and women’s studies at Brandeis University’s Heller School of Social Policy and Management. She’s also an author and speaker.
Against a backdrop of sex, politics, and race, ANITA reveals the intimate story of a woman who spoke truth to power. Directed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Freida Mock, the film is both a celebration of Anita Hill’s legacy and a rare glimpse into her private life with friends and family, many of whom were by her side that fateful day 22 years ago. Anita Hill courageously speaks openly and intimately for the first time about her experiences that led her to testify before the Senate and the obstacles she faced in simply telling the truth. She also candidly discusses what happened to her life and work in the 22 years since.
Anita Faye Hill (born July 30, 1956), most known for her testimony on Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, is an American attorney and academic, currently a professor of social policy, law and women’s studies at Brandeis University‘s Heller School for Social Policy and Management. She became a national figure in 1991 when she alleged that U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had made harassing sexual statements as her supervisor at the U.S. Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Due to lack of evidence supporting Hill’s allegations, Thomas was confirmed and took a seat on the Court. Hill’s testimony focused national attention on the issue of workplace sexual harassment.
Anita Hill Testimony: Clarence Thomas Second Hearing Day 1 (1991) (1/2)
Published on Apr 30, 2013
On July 1, 1991, President George H. W. Bush nominated Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court of the United States to replace Thurgood Marshall, who had announced his retirement. The nomination proceedings were contentious from the start, especially over the issue of abortion, and many women’s groups and civil rights groups opposed Thomas on the basis of his conservative political views, as they had also opposed Bush’s Supreme Court nominee from the previous year, David Souter.
Toward the end of the confirmation hearings, allegations by Anita Hill, a law professor who had previously worked under Thomas at the United States Department of Education and then at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), were leaked to the media from a confidential FBI report. The allegations led to a media frenzy and further investigations. Televised hearings were re-opened and held by the Senate Judiciary Committee before the nomination was moved to the full Senate for a vote. Thomas was confirmed by a narrow majority.
On October 11, 1991, Hill was called to testify during the hearing. She said she was testifying as to the character and fitness of Thomas to serve on the high court and was ambivalent about whether his alleged conduct had in fact risen to the level of being illegal sexual harassment.
Ten years earlier, in 1981, Hill had become an attorney-adviser to Clarence Thomas at the United States Department of Education (ED). When Thomas became Chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 1982, Hill went with Thomas to serve as his special assistant until she quit in mid-1983. Hill alleged in her 1991 testimony that it was during her employment at ED and EEOC that Thomas made sexually provocative statements.
She testified that she followed Thomas to EEOC because “[t]he work, itself, was interesting, and at that time, it appeared that the sexual overtures… had ended.” She also testified that she wanted to work in the civil rights field, and that she believed that “at that time the Department of Education, itself, was a dubious venture.”
Hill alleged lurid details about her time with Thomas at the Department of Education: “He spoke about acts that he had seen in pornographic films involving such matters as women having sex with animals and films showing group sex or rape scenes… On several occasions, Thomas told me graphically of his own sexual prowess.” Hill also said that the following incident occurred later after they had both moved to new jobs at the EEOC: “Thomas was drinking a Coke in his office, he got up from the table at which we were working, went over to his desk to get the Coke, looked at the can and asked, ‘Who has put pubic hair on my Coke?’.”
Anita Hill Testimony: Clarence Thomas Second Hearing Day 1 (1991) (2/2)
Published on May 1, 2013
Anita Faye Hill (born July 30, 1956) is an American attorney and academic, currently a professor of social policy, law and women’s studies at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management.
Thomas was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by then-President George H. W. Bush, a position that required Senate hearings and confirmation. The hearings were initially completed, with Thomas’s good character being presented as a primary qualification for the high court because he had only been a judge for slightly more than one year.
There had been little organized opposition to Thomas’s nomination and his confirmation seemed assured until a report of a private interview of Hill by the FBI leaked out to the press. The hearings were then reopened, and Hill was called to publicly testify. Hill said in the October 1991 televised hearings that Thomas had sexually harassed her while he was her supervisor at the Department of Education and the EEOC.
When questioned on why she followed Thomas to the second job after he had already allegedly harassed her, she said she had wanted to work in the civil rights field, she had no alternative job, “and at that time, it appeared that the sexual overtures … had ended.”
According to Hill, during her two years of employment as Thomas’s assistant, Thomas had asked her out socially many times, and after she refused, he used work situations to discuss sexual subjects. “He spoke about…such matters as women having sex with animals and films showing group sex or rape scenes” she said, adding that on several occasions Thomas graphically described “his own sexual prowess” and the details of his anatomy.
Four female witnesses waited in the wings to reportedly support Hill’s credibility, but they were not called, due to what the Los Angeles Times described as a private, compromise deal between “aggressive, gloves-off” Republicans and the Senate Judiciary Committee Chair, Democrat Joe Biden. According to Time magazine, one of the witnesses, Angela Wright, may not have been considered credible on the issue of sexual harassment because she had been fired from the EEOC by Thomas.
Hill agreed to take a polygraph test. The results supported the veracity of her statements; Thomas declined the test. He made a vehement and complete denial, saying that he was being subjected to a “high-tech lynching for uppity blacks” by white liberals who were seeking to block a black conservative from taking a seat on the Supreme Court. After extensive debate, the U.S. Senate confirmed Thomas to the Supreme Court by a vote of 52–48; the narrowest margin since the 19th century.
Thomas’s supporters questioned Hill’s credibility claiming she was delusional or was a spurned woman, seeking revenge. They cited the time delay of ten years between the alleged behavior by Thomas and Hill’s accusations, and noted that Hill had followed Thomas to a second job and later had personal contacts with Thomas, including giving him a ride to an airport—behavior which they said would be inexplicable if Hill’s allegations were true.
Hill countered that she came forward because she felt an obligation to share information on the character and actions of a person who was being considered for the Supreme Court. She testified that after leaving the EEOC, she had had two “inconsequential” phone conversations with Thomas, and had seen him personally on two occasions; once to get a job reference and the second time when he made a public appearance in Oklahoma where she was teaching.
Thomas vehemently denied Hill’s allegations, saying his hearings had become a “high-tech lynching.” He was bitter about Hill and the accusations in his 2007 memoir.
“I believe in my heart that he shouldn’t have been confirmed,” Hill told The New York Times in a story published Wednesday. “I believe that the information I provided was clear, it was verifiable, it was confirmed by contemporaneous witnesses that I had talked with. And I think what people don’t understand is that it does go to his ability to be a fair and impartial judge.”
Clarence Thomas vs Anita Hill: Finally, the Truth
Uploaded on Dec 27, 2007
Pilot show for the proposed “Nothing But The Truth” TV series, in which a voice stress analyzer lie-detector is used to reveal the truth about the Thomas-Hill sex controversy. Second story deals with alien-abduction. Pilot was produced in late 1992. This is the first public viewing of the program.
Early life and education
Hill was born in Lone Tree, Oklahoma, the youngest of the 13 children of Albert and Erma Hill, who were farmers. Her family hailed from Arkansas, where her great-grandparents and her maternal grandfather, Henry Eliot, were born into slavery. Hill was raised in the Baptist faith.
After graduating as valedictorian from Morris High School, Hill enrolled at Oklahoma State University, receiving a bachelor’s degree with honors, in psychology 1977. She went on to Yale Law School, obtaining her Juris Doctor degree with honors in 1980.
She was admitted to the District of Columbia Bar in 1980 and began her law career as an associate with the Washington, D.C. firm of Wald, Harkrader & Ross. In 1981, she became an attorney-adviser to Clarence Thomas who was then the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. When Thomas became Chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 1982, Hill went along to serve as his assistant, leaving the job in 1983.
Hill then became an assistant professor at the Evangelical Christian O. W. Coburn School of Law at Oral Roberts University where she taught from 1983 to 1986. In 1986, she joined the faculty at the University of Oklahoma College of Law where she taught commercial law and contracts.
Public interest in, and debate over, Hill’s testimony is said to have launched modern-day public awareness and open discussion of the issue of workplace sexual harassment in the United States with the ultimate result that the behavior is less tolerated today. Shortly after the Thomas confirmation hearings, President George H. W. Bush dropped his opposition to a bill giving harassment victims the right to seek federal damage awards, back pay and reinstatement, and the law was passed by Congress. One year later, harassment complaints filed with the EEOC were up 50 percent and public opinion had shifted in Hill’s favor. Private companies also started training programs to deter sexual harassment.
The manner in which the all-male Senate Judiciary Committee challenged and dismissed Hill’s accusations of sexual harassment angered women politicians and lawyers. According to D.C. Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, Hill’s treatment by the panel also contributed to the large number of women elected to Congress in 1992, “women clearly went to the polls with the notion in mind that you had to have more women in Congress”, she said. In their anthology, All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, but Some of Us Are Brave, editors Gloria T. Hull, Patricia Bell Scott and Barbara Smith described black feminists mobilizing “a remarkable national response to the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas controversy.
In 1992 a feminist group began a nationwide fundraising campaign and then obtained matching state funds to endow a professorship at the University of Oklahoma Law School in honor of Hill. Conservative Oklahoma state legislators reacted by demanding Hill’s resignation from the university, then introducing a bill to prohibit the university from accepting donations from out-of-state residents, and finally attempting to pass legislation to close down the law school. E. Z. Million, a local conservative activist and business consultant, organized protests and compared Hill to the assassin of President Kennedy. Certain officials at the university attempted to revoke Hill’s tenure. After five years of pressure, Hill resigned.
Hill accepted a position as a visiting scholar at the Institute for the Study of Social Change at University of California, Berkeley in January 1997, but soon joined the faculty of Brandeis University—first at the Women’s Studies Program, later moving to the Heller School for Social Policy and Management. In 2011, she also took a counsel position with the Civil Rights & Employment Practice group of the plaintiffs’ law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll.
Over the years, Hill has provided commentary on gender and race issues on national television programs, including 60 Minutes, Face the Nation and Meet the Press She has been a speaker on the topic of commercial law as well as race and women’s rights. She is also the author of articles that have been published in the New York Times and Newsweek. and has contributed to many scholarly and legal publications in the areas of international commercial law, bankruptcy, and civil rights.
In 1995 Hill co-edited Race, Gender and Power in America: The Legacy of the Hill-Thomas Hearings with Emma Coleman Jordan. In 1997 Hill published her autobiography, Speaking Truth to Power, in which she chronicled her role in the Clarence Thomas confirmation controversy and wrote that creating a better society had been a motivating force in her life. In 2011 Hill published her second book, Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race, and Finding Home, which focuses on the sub-prime lending crisis that resulted in the foreclosure of many homes owned by African-Americans. She calls for a new understanding about the importance of home and its place in the American Dream.
Awards and honors
In 2005 Hill was selected as a Fletcher Foundation Fellow. In 2008 she was awarded the Louis P. and Evelyn Smith First Amendment Award by the Ford Hall Forum. She also serves on the Board of Trustees for Southern Vermont College in Bennington, Vermont.
Race, Gender, and Power in America: The Legacy of the Hill-Thomas Hearings [Hardcover]
The shock waves from Anita Hill’s testimony at the Senate confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas continue to reverberate. Race, Gender, and Power in America is a powerful collection of essays that examines the context and consequences of that controversy. Edited by Hill and Emma Coleman Jordan, Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, and including the first published essay on the episode written by Hill herself, these essays explore the volatile politics of race and gender, and the unique challenges faced by African-American women.
Among the distinguished contributors are Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton; playwright/actress and Stanford University Professor Anna Deaveare Smith; and Chief Judge Emeritus A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. In addition, this collection brings together for the first time many of the direct participants in the hearings, including four members of Hill’s emergency legal team: Professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. of Harvard Law School; Professor Judith Resnik of the University of Southern California Law Center; Susan Deller Ross, Director of the Sex Discrimination Clinic at Georgetown Law Center; and volume co-editor Emma Coleman Jordan. Jordan’s essay examines how Thomas used the “lynching” metaphor to evoke a false racial memory of innocent black victims of vigilante violence.
The lynching metaphor succeeded in branding Hill as a race-disrespecting traitor who was willing to “air the dirty linen” of sexual misconduct by breaking a powerful racial taboo against exposing black men to flawed justice. In “She’s No Lady; She’s a Nigger,” Adele Logan Alexander scrutinizes the devastating, centuries-old stereotypes of African-American women as mindless, untrustworthy, and sexually insatiable.
Hill examines the institutions of patronage and marriage, demonstrating how, as a professional African-American woman with no official Senate sponsor, she confounded the assumptions by which lawmakers are accustomed to assigning credibility and status. “In going before the Committee, I came face to face with a history of exclusion from power,” she writes. Charles R. Lawrence views the controversy as Act One in a three act morality play starring Clarence Thomas, William Kennedy Smith, and Mike Tyson, and Harvard’s Orlando Patterson maintains that it is black men, even more than black women, who suffer the consequences of strained gender relations.
Looking to the future, Robert L. Allen describes his encouraging work with the Oakland Men’s Project, and offers a prescription for ending sexual harassment and the system of sexism that underpins it.
Race, Gender, and Power in America is provocative reading for everyone concerned about the fault lines of race and gender threatening to rupture our society.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (October 5, 1995)
- Language: English
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