Anita Hill’s Afterlife

O Magazine July 2005

hill-642a4f5f2e24aa0fa6cbb1ae954566fbeb35c96a-s6-c30As a teenager in Oklahoma, Anita Hill showed uncanny prescience in choosing a hero for the life that awaited her: Barbara Jordan, the outspoken 38-year-old congresswoman who captivated the nation when she forcefully defended the constitution during Richard Nixon’s impeachment proceedings. “I was watching the Watergate hearings, and I thought, This is the bravest woman—and she’s from Texas? Next door to me? This black woman is out there, and she’s a star in these hearings. She’s sitting with all these guys, and she’s definitely not a shrinking violet.” The image worked for Hill, Suddenly, she could envision how “you could be in the kind of skin that I was in, maybe even come from the same background, and make an impact on the world.”

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