Essay on Plessey vs Ferguson

770 Words Oct 21st, 2013 4 Pages
The case of Plessy vs. Ferguson established the separate but equal doctrine that was prevalent throughout life in the South for over fifty years.
The case involved a man by the name of Homer Adolph Plessy, who was a colored shoemaker from New Orleans, Louisiana. He was only 1/8 black and 7/8 white, but under Louisiana law he was considered black. It also involved a white Judge by the name of John Howard Ferguson. In 1892 Plessy was asked by the Citizens Committee which was a political group made up of African Americans and Creoles to help them challenge the Separate Car Act, which by Louisiana law separated blacks and whites in railroad cars. If a black was caught sitting in the white section of the cars, they could get either 20 days
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After this decision Tourgee, took the case to the Louisiana Supreme Court, which upheld Ferguson’s decision. The case was then sent to the U.S. Supreme Court and on May 18, 1896, ruled in favor of Ferguson and the state of Louisiana, with an 8-1 majority vote. With the Supreme Court upholding this decision many states let any remaining equality between the races fade away, and was replaced with Jim Crow laws. Many states made it known that if anyone was caught breaking any rules they would be put in jail. Everyone was saying how can they expect people to meet together on social equality but are separated in every other way. Frederick Douglass wrote an article in 1872 for the The New National Era and said, “ We want mixed schools…because we want to do away with a system that exalts one class and debases another…We look to mixed schools to teach that worth and ability are to be the criterion of manhood and not race and color.” The Jim Crow laws lasted for almost 60 years, until a new panel of justices took over the Supreme Court and ruled that segregation violated rights that were granted by the Constitution. All of the separate but equal acts were dismissed on May 17, 1954 during the Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka. This case

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