After Anita Hill testified against Clarence Thomas in late 1991 during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings, a group of 1,600 black women showed their support for her by taking out a full-page ad in the New York Times. The ad expressed their disapproval of Thomas’s eventual confirmation to the Supreme Court and Hill’s treatment by the Senate Judiciary Committee. “We are particularly outraged by the racist and sexist treatment of Professor Anita Hill, an African American woman who was maligned and castigated for daring to speak publicly of her own experience of sexual abuse,” the women, who each donated around $25, wrote.
27 years ago, 1600 black women took out a full page ad in the NYT to show support for Anita Hill. I was 20 years old. I put $25 toward the price of the ad and signed my name. pic.twitter.com/I9AvWsoeGm
— Tayari Jones (@tayari) September 19, 2018
Now, 1,600 men are doing the same for Christine Blasey Ford, who has brought sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh—along with reiterating their support for Hill. The Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign advocacy group raised more than $130,000 through crowdfunding, along with 1,600 signatures from male allies, to put toward a full-page print ad in the Times today. The ad is titled: “We believe Anita Hill. We also believe Christine Blasey Ford.”
I am one of the 1600 men who signed my name to the New York Times ad. I still believe Anita Hill. I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. I believe Deborah Ramirez. I believe Julie Swetnick. I believe my patients. I #BelieveSurvivors.https://t.co/0LheoIODSk pic.twitter.com/Ij9EWHk2GM
— Dr. Daniel Grossman (@DrDGrossman) September 26, 2018
The ad, which comes in advance of Ford’s testimony tomorrow before the Senate Judiciary Committee, echoes the 1991 ad in both appearance and as a powerful display of solidarity. “Twenty-seven years ago, on November 17, 1991, 1,600 black women joined together and placed a full-page ad in the New York Times to support Professor Anita Hill when she faced backlash for accusing Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment,” the ad reads. “Today we follow in the footsteps of those courageous women. We are 1,600 men who now stand behind Professor Anita Hill, as well as Christine Blasey Ford, because we believe them.”
The ad expresses support for Ford’s testimony and calls on other men to “ensure that Dr. Blasey Ford’s story is carefully and fully examined without bias or prejudice.”
The crowdfunding campaign for the ad had drawn more than $136,000 in donations at the time of writing. The additional money raised—beyond what was required for the ad—will go toward the nonprofit Futures Without Violence, to help bolster violence prevention programming for young girls.