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, Oklahoma.

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 President G.H.W. 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 credentials.

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 which Thomas 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 Statement of Anita Hill's Testimony and watch the video.

Here is the entire testimony on 84 pages.

Hill's lawyer, by the way, was Janet Napolitano.


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 sexual harassment?

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 of 1964.

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 offensive conduct.

  • Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim.

  • The harasser's conduct must be unwelcome.

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 available.

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.





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