“At that point, I realized that this was an issue that resonated with women. It was an issue that resonated with men. It was an issue that was about sexual harassment. It was an issue about sexual abuse and sexual violence, and it just kept going from there,” she said. “It did change not only where I worked, but it changed the entire nature of my work.”
Hill said she summoned the courage to testify against Thomas because of her love of the law.
“For me it was really about the court, and the integrity of the court was at stake,” she said. “And for someone who is a lawyer and a law teacher who is looking at young people every day and saying, ‘Believe in the law, it’s important, it’s significant.’
“Then I realized that it was part of my responsibility as a citizen, as someone who cared about the court, whose life had been changed because of some of the rulings of the court, and you summon up the courage.”
She began to develop that courage even as a child, the youngest of 13.
“My parents raised half of their children in a segregated society, so they were really supreme mentors in teaching people how to be dignified in circumstances that really don’t respect you, don’t respect you as a person, as a whole human being with contributions to make,” Hill said. “So I was schooled in that way even before I knew it was happening, because that was they had to do for their children.”
Mock said she was honored to make the film and share Hill’s story with viewers too young to remember her testimony. And Hill continues to do the work that found her in 1991.
“It’s rewarding to be able to commit your life’s work to it, but it’s also challenging to get a handle on,” Hill said. “But it’s a challenge I feel privileged to be a part of undertaking.”