News that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford will testify Thursday against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh has prompted many to warn senators not to repeat the mistakes of the Anita Hill hearings of 1991, when Hill was questioned by an all-male, all-white Senate Judiciary Committee over her allegations that then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her in the workplace. In the weeks after Hill testified, nearly 1,600 black feminists organized as “African American Women in Defense of Ourselves” and signed a manifesto published in an advertisement in The New York Times. We speak with historian, author and activist Barbara Ransby, one of the initiators of the manifesto, who is now a professor of African American studies, gender and women’s studies and history at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
professor of African American studies, gender and women’s studies and history at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Her latest book is Making All Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the Twenty-First Century.