Anita Hill

“I was born in 1956. In 1956, segregation was legal. We didn’t have a Civil Rights Act of 1964. I realized that you have to take risks for change. Risks meant marching with the risk of being beaten up by police. I had this model in the back of my head that that’s what it takes if you want change.-Anita Hill, episode 268 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso

This week we’re joined by Professor Anita Hill. She’s an author, lawyer, and host of the new podcast, Getting Even with Anita Hill

We begin by discussing her excellent new program (6:40), which reexamines her landmark testimony against Judge Clarence Thomas (7:40), her precarious relationship with the legal system (14:10), the unnerving attacks she received in the aftermath of 1991 (19:34), the survivors of sexual harassment emboldened by her work (20:50), and why the structural barriers to justice remain in 2022 (32:28).

After the break, Anita replays the phone call she received from President Joe Biden in 2019 (39:57), the weight of her decision to speak out (44:38), the significance of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination (48:08), her mother’s enduring influence (54:14), and a poem by Pauli Murray that keeps the song of hope alive in her (51:00).

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Illustrations by: Krishna Shenoi. Reference photograph by Celeste Sloman.

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