In October 1991 the issue of sexual harassment became a global talking point and international media event through coverage of the allegations made by African-American law Professor Anita Hill against African-American Judge Clarence Thomas in relation to his nomination (by Republican president George H.W. Bush) as the first Black nominee for the Supreme Court.

Thomas denied the allegations and his nomination was confirmed.

Nevertheless Hill’s actions inspired and galvanised women in the UK (as in the USA) to bring cases. The Equal Opportunities Commission’s Annual Report recorded a 30 per cent increase in the number of cases in the year 1991-92. Hill’s story was hugely important in bringing the issue to public attention and centring it as a front-page story in Britain’s national newspapers (where it had barely been acknowledged previously).


Further Reading

Anita Hill, Speaking Truth to Power (Random House, 1997).

Tony Morrison (ed.) Race-ing Justice, En-gendering Power. Essays on Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas, and the Construction of Reality (Chatto & Windus, 1983).