A law professor. Anita Hill came into the limelight
when Clarence Thomas
was appointed by George H. Bush
to the US Supreme court
. The U.S. Constitution states that the Senate must approve
of the appointment by a vote.
During the time that Clarence Thomas was undergoing confirmation hearings in the Senate, a then-unknown law professor named Anita Hill came forward with allegations that Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her during his tenure as head of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Judiciary Committee planned a closed hearing. Sensing that a coverup was at hand, NOW quickly demanded that Hill's charges be heard in a public forum.
Supposedly, according to Hill's testimony, Thomas did nothing physical, but instead said many sexist things to her, bragged about his sexual escapades and the types of pornography he watched, hit on her, and generally made her very uncomfortable, but she didn't quit. However, she only came forward when Thomas was up for appointment.
The Republicans and supporters of Thomas immediately began attacking her credibility, and Feminist groups jumped in to defend her. It turned into a battle of he-says, she-says and then was an arguement over whether it was really relevant. It became a hot question in politics, "Who do you believe, Clarence Thomas, or Anita Hill?" Bill Clinton was asked the question by a voter on MTV, and he said Anita Hill.
Thomas did get appointed, but it was by a narrow margin in the Senate, below 5 votes in his favor for the appointment to pass.
According to the African American Almanac, her bio reads as:
Educator, Author, Lecturer
Born on July 30, 1956, in Morns, Oklahoma, Anita Hill was a relatively unknown law professor at the University of Oklahoma when her name became a household word virtually overnight. It was during the Senate confirmation hearings in October 1991, for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas that 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 worked for the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. Hill claimed that Thomas repeatedly pressured her to date him, told her plots of pornographic movies, and bragged about his sexual exploits. When asked why she didn't quit her job or report Thomas when the incidents occurred during the early 1980s, Hill answered that she feared she would not be able to get another job.
Following the hearings, Hill continued to be hounded by the press. Several books were written and a 76-minute documentary composed of testimony clips entitled Sex and Justice: The Highlights of the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas Hearings was released. Her experience with the hearings had changed her life, as well as her career direction. She had been a professor of commercial law. She decided to take a year-long sabbatical in order to look at the possibility of founding an institute with the purpose of researching racism and sexism. Hill also made many speeches around the country about her experience.
Controversy did not escape her on campus, either. Several lawmakers made news when they requested that Hill be fired. However, the University of Oklahoma dean and other members of the faculty supported her. In 1993, a university professorship to be established in Hill's name was proposed; though the suggestion met much opposition, the endowed chair was approved two years later. (The Anita Faye Hill Professorship provides a salary and money for research and travel expenses incurred in the study of women's rights in the workplace.)
On March 9, 1995, Hill cited no reasons as she announced her resignation from the university, but after taking an unpaid leave during which she presumably intended to write, she resumed her teaching post in September of the same year. Race, Gender, and Power in America, co-edited by Hill and Emma Coleman Jordan, was published in 1995.