All day Thursday, I had an itchy feeling, as if I needed something to occupy my hands while listening to Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh testify. I made an elaborate lunch and refreshed Twitter. The artists who created the tributes below channeled that same nervous energy into fan art for Ford.
On Instagram and Twitter, news photos of Ford being sworn in, right arm raised, were transformed—Ford with blooming flowers, radiating behind her head like a nimbus; Ford against a stark red background, with “This is what bravery looks like” outlined above her head in script. Some drew Ford with a phalanx of women behind her. Some created dual portraits of Ford and Anita Hill: two professional women, serious in their poise. And at least one drew Ford’s face in a more intimate close-up, pulling her glasses down her nose while making a point—a characteristic gesture that reminded me of professors I’ve known.
Anita Hill wrote in her 1997 memoir, Speaking Truth to Power, that during the Thomas hearings, she looked often at a handwritten letter she had received from a woman who identified herself as a “black female attorney” with similar professional experience. “I want you to know that you are brave,” the anonymous woman wrote. Hill wrote that she “took solace in finding a comrade” who understood her experience.
I don’t know whether Christine Blasey Ford is looking at the internet right now. For her sake, I hope she has someone filtering it for her. And I hope that person shows her these tributes.