Stories of Gender, Race, and Finding Home
On Sale: October 4, 2011
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From the heroic lawyer who spoke out against Clarence Thomas
in the historic confirmation hearings twenty years ago,
Anita Hill's first book since the best-selling Speaking
Truth to Power.
In 1991, Anita Hill’s courageous testimony during the
Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings sparked a national
conversation on sexual harassment and women’s equality in
politics and the workplace. Today, she turns her attention
to another potent and enduring symbol of economic success
and equality—the home. Hill details how the current housing
crisis, resulting in the devastation of so many families, so
many communities, and even whole cities, imperils every
American’s ability to achieve the American Dream.
Hill takes us on a journey that begins with her own family
story and ends with the subprime mortgage meltdown. Along
the way, she invites us into homes across America, rural and
urban, and introduces us to some extraordinary African
American women. As slavery ended, Mollie Elliott, Hill’s
ancestor, found herself with an infant son and no husband.
Yet, she bravely set course to define for generations to
come what it meant to be a free person of color. On the eve
of the civil rights and women’s rights movements, Lorraine
Hansberry’s childhood experience of her family’s fight
against racial restrictions in a Chicago neighborhood ended
tragically for the Hansberry family. Yet, that episode
shaped Lorraine’s hopeful account of early suburban
integration in her iconic American drama A Raisin in the
Sun. Two decades later, Marla, a divorced mother, endeavors
to keep her children safe from a growing gang presence in
1980s Los Angeles. Her story sheds light on the fears and
anxiety countless parents faced during an era of growing
neighborhood isolation, and that continue today. In the
midst of the 2008 recession, hairdresser Anjanette Booker’s
dogged determination to keep her Baltimore home and her
salon reflects a commitment to her own independence and to
her community’s economic and social viability. Finally, Hill
shares her own journey to a place and a state of being at
home that brought her from her roots in rural Oklahoma to
suburban Boston, Massachusetts, and connects her own search
for home with that of women and men set adrift during the
The ability to secure a place that provides access to every
opportunity our country has to offer is central to the
American Dream. To achieve that ideal, Hill argues, we and
our leaders must engage in a new conversation about what it
takes to be at home in America. Pointing out that the
inclusive democracy our Constitution promises is bigger than
the current debate about legal rights, she presents concrete
proposals that encourage us to reimagine equality. Hill
offers a twenty-first-century vision of America—not a vision
of migration, but one of roots; not one simply of tolerance,
but one of belonging; not just of rights, but also of
community—a community of equals.
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