Why I Vote Professor Anita Hill

Descriptive Transcript

Why I Vote - Professor Anita Hill

Time: 00:02:29

An opening graphic appears on screen:

On the left-hand side of the graphic a portrait of Anita Hill is seen with a close-up image of red, white and blue "VOTE" buttons in the background. On the right-hand side of the image in large white with a blue stroke lettering reads "WHY I VOTE" laid over a slate colored background.

The graphic then cuts to video of Anita Hill seated. A lower third graphic with her name and title transitions on briefly

"Anita Hill, University Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies"

She addresses the camera:

"I'm Anita Hill and I'm a professor at the Heller School and this is why I vote.

Early suffragists blame male lawmakers, jurors and judges for the unfettered physical and sexual abuse men wielded against women.

Winning the right to vote for women was their antidote to sexual assault at home, on the streets and in workplaces.

Unfortunately, in their passionate pursuit of personal and political autonomy, few white activists consider how Native, Brown and Black women's oppression under colonialism, immigration law and slavery figured into the solution suffragist sought.

As we struggle today to eliminate blind spots that have weakened our claim to universal personal and political autonomy, abuses borne by diverse individuals of all genders because of their gender continue at shocking rates.

We can't wait another one hundred years.

We must use the franchise to ensure both our political and personal equality and we must deploy our votes to enact laws and elect representatives that will, in the words of abolitionist and feminist crusader Sarah Grimke, 'Get our brethren to take their feet off our necks.'

Both literally and figuratively.

That is why I vote.

There's one more reason that I vote.

Despite women having the right to vote 100 years ago, in Oklahoma black women lacked the license to vote until 1939 when a Supreme Court ruling ended the state's application of a grandfather clause.

That clause was enshrined in law to disenfranchise Blacks and Native Americans.

At this 100 year anniversary, I vote for my mother and my grandmothers, as well as for my father and grandfathers for all of the years they couldn't vote, I vote."

The video then transitions out to show a white background where blue text reading "Brandeis University" fades into the screen. A few frames later the text go.brandeis.edu/votedeis also fades into the screen after a few seconds the screen fades to black.