Black Women Still in Defense of Ourselves

By Kimberle Williams Crenshaw

One of the lasting images of the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas controversy was the photograph of the “Boxer rebellion,” the all-female Congressional delegation marching up the steps to the Senate to demand that it investigate credible claims of sexual harassment. Outside this frame, and perhaps more compelling, are the stories of when each of these women realized that intolerably destructive dynamics of power were being normalized or even defended by colleagues, spouses, friends and elected officials. Every woman who was prompted into action by Anita Hill has a moment like this.

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About jennifer williams

Jennifer D. Williams is a writer and professor of English and Women's and Gender Studies. She has published in academic journals and online at, PopMatters, among other sites. Jennifer is currently working on a book that looks at black women's urban literature between the Depression and the civil rights era.

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