Anita Hill: Opening Statement at the Senate Confirmation Hearing of Clarence Thomas

(1991)

Anita Hill’s Opening Statement at the Senate Confirmation Hearing of Clarence Thomas in 1991 was a bold and revealing account of sexual harassment in the workplace that also brought up issues related to gender discrimination and racism. During the course of the grueling proceedings conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court, startling accusations of sexual harassment were raised by Hill against Thomas. A law professor at the University of Oklahoma who had been one of Thomas’s coworkers, Hill only reluctantly came forward with detailed allegations. Her statement and subsequent testimony, which were broadcast on national television, provided a public glimpse into the confirmation process as well as the complex web of issues surrounding sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and racial stereotyping. Despite the controversy over his nomination, Thomas was confirmed by a close vote on the Senate floor, and...