Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Book Review: Outsiders Within

In 1991, Anita Hill, an African American law professor, testified at the confirmation hearings for Justice Clarence Thomas. Hill's testimony captivated the nation and brought the issue of sexual harassment in the work place to the forefront of public discourse. In his book Outsiders Within: Black Women & the Legal Academy After Brown v. Board, Elwood Watson provides a fascinating analysis of public reaction to Anita Hill's testimony and places it in the larger context of African American women navigating within the legal academy.

Outsiders Within describes the different obstacles faced by black female academics that entered the legal academy in the 1970's and 1980's, and explores how their struggles have been distinctly different from their black male colleagues and white female colleagues. Watson's book includes in-depth interviews with leading legal academics and is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in learning more about the inner workings of the legal academy, the influence of women and African American academics, and the exceptional and tenacious individuals standing at the intersection of those two minority groups.

To check the availability of this book at the Westminster Law Library click here.

Written by Jennifer Chang, Law Librarian Fellow