It was during the Senate confirmation hearings in October 1991, for United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas that Anita Hill became famous.
She came forward with sexual harassment charges against Judge Thomas that shocked the nation, and many watched as she poured out painful details of Thomas's alleged sexual harassment, purportedly committed when both had worked for the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission.
Anita Hill was a professor at the University of Oklahoma, who worked with Thomas in the 1980’s in Reagan’s Department of Education and Reagan’s EEOC. She was the last child of 13, born to poor farmers in Arkansas.
She was the typical female overachiever and attended Oklahoma State University, then Yale Law School.
When he appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee as a Bush nominee for the Supreme Court in August 1991, Hill swore a statement to the FBI that he had made sexual harassment advances toward her, including pornographic descriptions, a decade before.
She has been in a serious romantic relationship with a partner for 10 years, but the two maintain separate homes.
He is reviled in some circles because he is a black conservative.
His opinions often track his conservative counterparts, like Antonin Scalia and John Roberts.
Her compelling testimony before the committee was broadcast live around the globe, sweeping her from the quiet obscurity of her life as a professor of law at the University of Oklahoma. House and Senate chose to dismiss her allegations, and as a result, Thomas was given a seat on the highest court in the nation. Nothing in Anita Hill's upbringing could have prepared her for the glare of international publicity she would eventually face.
Her charges produced a stunning collision of race and gender issues, and reactions to her and her story were highly polarized; some viewed her as a hero and a martyr, while others vilified her as mentally unstable, a liar, and even a racist. The youngest in a family of 13 children, she was raised in a deeply religious atmosphere on her parents' farm in rural Morris, Oklahoma, located some 45 miles south of Tulsa.