September 28, 2018 3P

Where Are the Rest of the Black Feminists in HBO’s ‘Confirmation’?

By Melissa Harris-Perry

In the final scene of HBO’s Confirmation, Professor Anita Hill returns from Washington, D.C. to her University of Oklahoma law school office. Despite having testified about years of unwanted sexual harassment from Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, Judge Thomas has successfully ascended to the Court. The hearings where Hill testified were not a trial, but somehow, she has lost. Or so it seems until she opens her office door to discover boxes upon boxes of letters sent by women moved by her testimony.

It is the only scene in the film, which aired this past weekend, that made me cry. One of those letters was from me. I was a college student just finding my feminist identity when Hill testified and was vilified. Her testimony helped me contextualize my own sexual assault and helped ignite my political engagement. The letter said little more than I believe you; thank you. Twenty-five years ago, Anita Hill touched me. I wrote to her. I had forgotten. Confirmation reminded me.

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