It was Oct. 11, 1991, when Anita Hill told the Senate Judiciary Committee that then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her. Since then, she's been focusing on academic work as a professor of law and social policy at Brandeis University. But her experience in the national spotlight is anything but forgotten.
This week, 20 years after her history-making testimony, she talked to NPR about the letters she's received over the years; her new book, Reimagining Equality; and how she maintained her faith in the system that confirmed Justice Thomas. She also weighed in on how opportunities for African Americans have (and haven't) improved.
Read a few highlights here:
On race and opportunity: I do think that just in general, people are comfortable with people who look like them or they believe think like them. And I think we have a lot to do in terms of really giving people full opportunity in employment, whether … you think of them as safe or not. I think full opportunity in employment just does not exist today in the way that maybe I thought it would have when I was growing up in the 1960s and '70s. I really thought some of these battles and some of these issues would have been resolved by now.
On her faith in the system: "I believe very much in our judiciary system. That is really why I testified to begin with, because [of] my belief in the integrity of the court and the individuals who sit … in final judgment of so many critical questions. And I know people are disappointed with individual cases that come up and decisions that are made today … But I also remind myself that this is a court that is evolving and continues to evolve … "
On the correspondence she receives: "They're a surprising array of messages. And they vary depending on whether they're men or women, young or old. I hear from people who say, 'I was a child during the hearings, and I didn't quite understand exactly what was going on. But 20 years later, now I understand why the hearing was important and why your testimony was important."
Read more at NPR.
In other news: Cain Leads GOP Pack.