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First, you’ve got to be able to count

22 Mar

Uh-oh! Due to technical problems, the library’s oral history site may be down for as much as two months.  In the meantime, we will post more interviews to the library’s YouTube channel–some full interviews and some excerpts–to keep you connected to oral histories.

Today’s post: a full interview with Jean Dubofsky about her career as a lawyer and a judge, including being the youngest and first woman to serve on the Colorado Supreme Court.

She also talks about her successful argument to the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of Amendment 2, the 1992 Colorado amendment that prohibited the passage of laws that provided protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Hear the advice she got from John Roberts (now chief justice of the Supreme Court) about being successful when arguing in front of the court: “First you’ve got to be able to count.”  

Watch a little of the interview or watch it all at to find out what Justice Roberts meant and whether it was good advice!

If you are not able to watch the interview above, click on this link: http://tinyurl.com/jdubofsky

On the week that Gov. Hickenlooper signed the civil unions bill, we thought this interview would bring a greater depth of understanding to the history of gay civil rights issues in Colorado.

A Dinner Party Makes History

23 Jun

Artist Judy Chicago stands in front of her now-famous art installation "The Dinner Party"

THIRTY-FOUR YEARS AGO, in 1976, artist Judy Chicago invited the world to a dinner party that already had more than a thousand guests. “The Dinner Party” is “an important icon of 1970s feminist art and a milestone in twentieth-century art…. [It] comprises a massive ceremonial banquet, arranged on a triangular table with a total of thirty-nine place settings, each commemorating an important woman from history. The settings consist of embroidered runners, gold chalices and utensils, and china-painted porcelain plates … rendered in styles appropriate to the individual women being honored. The names of another 999 women are inscribed in gold on the white tile floor below the triangular table.” (This description is taken from the web site of the Brooklyn Museum, which now permanently displays the art installation as the centerpiece of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art.

Anne Marie Pois, an oral historian with the Boulder Library’s Maria Rogers Oral History Program, was involved in the creation of “The Dinner Party.” She has made a short video,  “Right Into History: The Dinner Party as Catalyst for Social Activism,” which you can watch here, in which she tells the story both of the collaborative process of creating this now-famous piece of art and the ways in which it contributed to her becoming a history professor (she taught in the Women’s Studies Department at the University of Colorado for sixteen years) and a life-long social activist. Continue reading

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