Where Is Anita Hill Today? The Subject Of HBO's 'Confirmation' Has Continued To Do Important Work
When I first heard that HBO was creating a movie about the 1991 Supreme Court nomination hearings where a 35-year-old University of Oklahoma law professor testified about her allegations that then-nominee Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her (Thomas has repeatedly denied these allegations), I immediately marked my calendar with the Saturday, April 16 premiere date for Confirmation. Well, I actually set my DVR, but the point is that I was excited. Not only do I love anything with Kerry Washington, but I was also eager to see a small-screen adaptation of such an important and divisive period in American history. Realizing just how much the world was changed for the better in the wake of that controversy, the impending premiere of Confirmation seems like the perfect time to follow up on where Anita Hill is today.
Yes, Hill is that law professor who was suddenly thrust into the national spotlight when she testified about her former employer's alleged actions, and I can only assume that her life hasn't been the same since. Though Hill was put through the wringer before Congress and, as we all know, Thomas was eventually sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice (a post he still holds today), she has continued to voice her opinion on important issues and maintained the accusations she made against Thomas on national television in 1991.
Here's how she's still leaving her mark on society today.
She's A Law Professor
If you're lucky enough to study law at Brandeis University, you may be able to take a class with Hill. She is a University Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women's and Gender Studies at the Waltham, Massachusetts institution. Just think of how much you could learn from being in her classroom.
Confirmation Isn't The First Movie About Her
If after watching Confirmation you want to learn more about Hill — in movie form, that is — you should check out the 2013 documentary Anita: Speaking Truth to Power, which also chronicles her experience during the high-profile hearings. It looks like a riveting portrait of an already-fascinating figure.
She's An Author
Like many accomplished academics, Hill has also shared her expertise in print. She is the author of two books: Speaking Truth to Power, which details her life before, during, and after the Supreme Court confirmation hearings, and Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race, and Finding Home, an exploration of what home means in America following the mortgage crisis of 2008.
She's Still Speaking Out On Important Issues
In addition to her books, Hill has also spoken about and written about race and gender for publications like The New York Times, Newsweek, and The Boston Globe, according to her author page on Amazon. Hill has also done many interviews over the years, especially now that Confirmation is premiering on HBO, where she touches on topics from feminism to sexual assault to race. Do yourself a favor, and read what she has to say.
She Doesn't Regret What Happened 25 Years Ago
"I think that sends a really wrong message for people who are going through some of these same things today. This idea that we can never know the truth is just not accurate," she recently told The TODAY Show 's Savannah Guthrie, regarding the HBO film. "We can know the truth if we have the right processes in place. And what I think the film shows very clearly is that the wrong processes can lead us to confusion and I think that's exactly what happened in 1991."
And no, she doesn't wish she'd never come forward during the hearings. This is what Hill said in a recent interview with PBS Newshour's Gwen Ifill (you can watch it in full in the above clip):
I don’t think it was a mistake.
I think it was something that was meant to happen, actually. I had something to say. I had an experience to share that went to the fitness of an individual who was going to be sitting on a Supreme Court with a lifetime appointment. It was important, not only to the integrity of this individual, but also to the integrity of the court itself.
And as a member of the bar, as a citizen, I had a right to come forward and to testify. I don’t think we — that is ever a mistake. And I really wouldn’t do it differently today.
That's exactly what I hoped she'd say.
She Has Big Plans For The Future
It sounds like Hill has some exciting and impactful projects in the works. Hill said in a recent interview with Essence that she wants to have "a more public presence," which will include writing, speaking, and teaching. She also said she is working on some new initiatives with the 50th anniversary of Title IX (the law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity that receives federal funding) in 2022 in mind. "I’m working on a project that aims to increase awareness of how this law can improve the experiences for all girls and women — especially girls and women of color," she told Essence. "I will also propose new strategies and plans for increasing parity and inclusion in education."
But could Hill end up a Supreme Court Justice one day? Well, one Change.org petition created earlier this year to get her on the high court's bench garnered more than 10,000 supporters, so maybe Hill will take some inspiration from that for her next career move.
Now wouldn't that be interesting?