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Race-Ing Justice, En-Gendering Power: Essays on Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas, and the Construction of Social Reality

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  239 ratings  ·  18 reviews
It was perhaps the most wretchedly aspersive race and gender scandal of recent times: the dramatic testimony of Anita Hill at the Senate hearings on the confirmation of Clarence Thomas as Supreme Court Justice. Yet even as the televised proceedings shocked and galvanized viewers not only in this country but the world over, they cast a long shadow on essential issues that d ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published October 6th 1992 by Pantheon (first published October 1st 1992)
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Very interesting commentary. I purchased this book over 20 years ago. I remember Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas and I remember the confirmation hearing being televised. I was very young and in the military at the time so I had no real understanding of all of the politics and culture wars taking place in the chamber. Fast forward 23 years and this book is so very relevant. Especially after the recent death of Justice Scalia and the Senate Leader's response. What is about to happen is nothing new ...more
Matt Sautman
Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
A collection of essays relating to a piece of recent history that has somewhat faded away into obscurity. The essays in this volume are powerful, but some have more enlightening things to say than others. It can be hard powering through it the way one might read other anthologies, but particular essays within the collection make it where I cannot feel comfortable giving the overall work anything less than 4 stars.
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
two decades after the Hill/Thomas hearings, this book remains highly relevant. i learned a lot about Thomas, i had no idea that he had few qualifications before being nominated to SCOTUS. aside from Professor Hill’s abuse and mistreatment at the hands of thomas and the all white male judiciary committee, the most horrifying part of this book is the story of thomas disparaging his sister for being on welfare while she was caring for a sick family member.

overall, i learned so much. each of the au
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I picked up this book shortly after the inauguration to hopefully gain some insight from history, and I was not disappointed on that front. It was hard to read Toni Morrison say that only a black man could get away with sexual assault incrimination and still attain such a high office, and then compare that to where we are today-- and to think, he may get to appoint several Supreme Court Justices-- and it was hard to read and know that the man described in all these powerful essays is still alive ...more
May 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A variety of essays by a variety of personalities on racism, sexism, and feminism introduced quite eloquently by Morrison - relevant not only in terms of the Clarence Thomas issue, but the divisiveness of American society.
Jake Mintz
May 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Another great book from Morrison! Loved it!
Mary Sisney
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book, published in 1992, is especially interesting now because of the METOO movement, which has resurrected Anita Hill, and the Kavanaugh hearing. Although I found the OJ essays in the other collection edited by Morrison more interesting, I learned more from these essays that focused on the court and politics as well as on race, gender, and sex. Probably because the Thomas-Hill hearing took place over a few days in October when I was busy teaching, I didn't know as much about what was going ...more
Abby Suzanne
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was so good I had to share it outside of bookstagram. Toni Morrison is a queen and she outdid herself in assembling Race-ing Justice, En-Gendering Power. I fully acknowledge my ignorance regarding the Clarence Thomas- Anita Hill spectacle, and this book's intersectional analysis brought me up to speed real fast. The book is a compilation of essays written in various formats that address Clarence Thomas' appointment, Anita Hill, her decision to come forward, and reactions to her decisio ...more
Reese Williams-Howell
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book shows how women are treated when they come forward in regards to being harass or sexually assaulted. that's why so few want to come forward because they have been portrayed as a liar especially the African female. African women have been abuse since slavery and now. African women need to support one another and the African men need to support them. A must-read for all African women young and old. ...more
Kelsea Kilbride
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A ridiculously brilliant set of authors who dissect an incredibly complex moment in US history from different angles. I'm walking away thinking differently about race, gender, intra and interracial relationships, electoral politics, narrative building-- I genuinely learned something new every chapter. Would NOT recommend trying to read it straight through because it can be repetitive, but I'd highly recommend picking the chapters or authors that sound most interesting to you. ...more
Apr 04, 2018 rated it liked it
2017 Reading Challenge - A book recommended by a librarian (by a professor, actually)

This is an interesting compilation of essays reflecting on the confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas, specifically the hearings involving Anita Hill. While nearly twenty years old, considering today's #MeToo movement and discussions of intersectionality around this, it is especially timely.
Dec 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: antiracist, owned, lent
Not what you want to be reading when we lose RBG! I had to take a long break out of despair, but there's a lot of wisdom here. ...more
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
The spectacle of Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas occurred before my time. After having watched HBO's 'Confirmation,' I was enamored by the scenario, yet knew that I was not fully comprehending all that was at stake in this public spectacle. Eager to digest more information and its cultural implication, this collection of essays, wonderfully curated by Toni Morrison has added such depth and nuisance to this debate, as well as re-framed the issues in ways I did not imagine.
Some of my favorite essay
Dec 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
One of the best essay compilations I've read, that feel prescient of today's issues. Albeit there is some minor repetition in this arguments, the essays themselves impressively interrogate race and gender issues. The issues are generally as follows: Because Clarence Thomas is black, white senators had trouble confronting him, a more passive style of racism. Because Anita Hill is black and a woman, Americans didn't know how to classify her, how to trust her. Language during the confirmation sessi ...more
Mar 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
15.10 Title relates to personal philosophy
The essays by Toni Morrison, A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., Patricia J. Williams, Christine Stansell, Kimberle Crenshaw and Paula Giddings are especially worth reading.
Aug 08, 2007 marked it as to-read
old book; found it at used book store; looking forward to reading it later this month!
David Withun
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
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Toni Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford) was an American author, editor, and professor who won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature for being an author "who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality."

Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed African American characters; among the best k

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