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Anita Hill

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Anita Hill
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Anita Hill

Anita F. Hill (born July 30, 1956) is known primarily as the former colleague of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, whom she later accused of sexual harassment.

Hill was born in Lone Tree, Oklahoma. She received her undergraduate degree from Oklahoma State University in 1977, and her law degree from Yale University in 1980. Upon graduation from law school, she became a practicing lawyer with the Washington, DC, firm of Ward, Hardraker, and Ross. In 1981, she met Thomas, and became his assistant at the U.S. Dep't of Education. When Thomas became chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Hill followed him to this new job, joining the Commission's legal staff.

When Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1991, Hill's accusations to the FBI that Thomas had sexually harassed her were leaked to the media by Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Hill, by then on the law school faculty at the University of Oklahoma, testified before the committee about Thomas's alleged verbal harassment. Thomas made a blanket denial of the accusations, and after extensive debate, the U.S. Senate narrowly confirmed Thomas.

In March 1992, the conservative magazine American Spectator published an article by David Brock which claimed Hill had lied during the hearings and infamously stated she might be "a bit nutty and a bit slutty." These charges were expanded into a full length book, The Real Anita Hill, published the next year. In 2001, Brock repudiated his former work, stating that he had distorted the evidence and relied on fabricated information provided by others. He wrote that the "slutty" line was "not amusing; it was degraded sarcasm—inexcusable, disgusting." He also added that, though only Thomas and Hill know for sure, his belief is that Hill's statements were truthful.

In addition to her position at Oklahoma, Hill has taught at the Oral Roberts University School of Law. As of 2005 she is a professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women's Studies at Brandeis University in Massachusetts. Hill is also an author and public speaker.

Resources

  • David Brock, The Real Anita Hill: The Untold Story, ISBN 0-029-04656-4, contains Brock's original attack on Hill.
  • David Brock, Blinded By the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative, ISBN 1-400-04728-5, gives Brock's mea culpa.
  • Anita Hill, Speaking Truth to Power, ISBN 0-385-47627-2, gives Hill's own account.
  • Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson, Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas, ISBN 0-452-27499-0, was written after The Real Anita Hill and critiques Brock's book. In Blinded By the Right, Brock acknowledges the fairness of their critique.

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