Anita Faye Hill (Born 1956)
Anita Faye Hill was born on July 30, 1956, in Oklahoma.
She is her parent's youngest child and
has 12 elder siblings. Her father is Albert Hill. Her mother
is Erma Hill.
In 1977, Anita Hill graduated with
honors from Oklahoma State University.
In 1980, she received her law degree
from Yale University on a scholarship from the NAACP, which stands
for National Association of Advancement of Colored People.
Hill then worked briefly for Wald,
Harkrader, & Ross, a law firm in Washington D.C.
In 1981, Anita Hill switched from
private practice to the U.S. Department of Education and became
assistant to the Assistant Secretary Clarence Thomas.
According to Anita Hill's later statement, Thomas was delighted,
Hill not so much.
In 1982, Clarence Thomas became chairman
of the EEOC, which stands for Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission. Thomas transferred to his new desk and Hill came along.
In 1983, Anita Hill left Washington D.C.
and became law professor at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa,
In 1986, she changed to the University
of Oklahoma where she would remain until 1996.
In 1990, Clarence Thomas quit his desk
at the EEOC when
Bush appointed him judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the Federal District in Washington D.C., which in turn led to
Thomas' Supreme Court nomination.
Clarence Thomas was to replace
Thurgood Marshall, the first African American member of the
Supreme Court, who was fixing to pack his knapsack for retirement.
The president's nomination to the
Supreme Court requires the confirmation of the Senate. The Senate
must be in favor of a nominee and sanction it by a simple majority
vote. On October 15, 1991, Thomas squeezed by with a Senate vote of
52 to 48.
How come? Why the narrow vote?
If you are appointed member of the
Supreme Court, you are appointed for life. Hence, you will get a
thorough background check. The Senate Judiciary Committee conducts
hearings and investigates your, the nominee's, qualifications and
In Clarence Thomas' case the background
included Anita Hill. When Anita Hill was asked for her statement,
she reported incidents of sexual harassment by Thomas.
The entire thing got into the open and
the Senate hearings could be followed nationwide and live on the
air: the Hill-Thomas Hearings of October 11, 1991, during
denied, some senators said Hill was delusional, and Hill stuck to her
story. An entire day of uneasiness.
Thomas moved up. Hill moved on, "deeply
wounded" but "you can survive."
At any rate, Anita Hill's testimony
against Clarence Thomas promotes awareness and encourages to
speak up against sexual harassment.
And here you can read the Opening
Anita Hill's Testimony and watch the video.
Here is the
entire testimony on 84 pages.
Hill's lawyer, by the way, was
As Professor of Social Policy, Law, and
Women's Studies, Anita Hill teaches currently at Brandeis
University, Heller School, at Waltham, Massachusetts.
Together with Emma Coleman Jordan,
Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, Anita Hill
edited the book Race, Gender, and Power in America: The Legacy of
the Hill-Thomas Hearings, Oxford University Press, 1995, a book
described as provocative reading.
And according to law, what exactly is
Here are some Facts About Sexual
Harassment, provided by the U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC):
Sexual harassment is a form of sex
discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other
verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual
harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct
explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment,
unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance or
creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances,
including but not limited to the following:
The victim as well as the
harasser may be a woman or a man. The victim does not have
to be of the opposite sex.
The harasser can be the victim's
supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in
another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee.
The victim does not have to be
the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the
Unlawful sexual harassment may
occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim.
The harasser's conduct must be
It is helpful for the victim to directly inform the harasser
that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop. The victim should
use any employer complaint mechanism or grievance system
When investigating allegations of sexual harassment, EEOC looks
at the whole record: the circumstances, such as the nature of
the sexual advances, and the context in which the alleged
incidents occurred. A determination on the allegations is made
from the facts on a case-by-case basis.
Prevention is the best tool to eliminate sexual harassment in
the workplace. Employers are encouraged to take steps necessary
to prevent sexual harassment from occurring. They should clearly
communicate to employees that sexual harassment will not be
tolerated. They can do so by establishing an effective complaint
or grievance process and taking immediate and appropriate action
when an employee complains.
And here is the web site of the
Sexual Harassment Support Community.