Plessy V. Ferguson: Separate but Equal

Plessy V. Ferguson: Separate but Equal

by Tim McNeese
     
 

On a muggy day in the summer of 1892, a shoemaker from New Orleans boarded a passenger car designated for whites only. This single act of defiance constituted a violation of the state's Separate Car Law, a statute designed to keep the races separated on Louisiana's public transportation systems. Before the day's end, Homer Plessy had been arrested and booked. His… See more details below

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Overview

On a muggy day in the summer of 1892, a shoemaker from New Orleans boarded a passenger car designated for whites only. This single act of defiance constituted a violation of the state's Separate Car Law, a statute designed to keep the races separated on Louisiana's public transportation systems. Before the day's end, Homer Plessy had been arrested and booked. His crime consisted of being black and boarding a "whites-only" railroad car.

Over the next four years, Plessy's case would work its way through the legal system until it landed on the steps of the United States Supreme Court. To his supporters, the case served as a signpost for America's future: Would "Jim Crow" statutes, such as the Separate Car Law, continue to define black and white relations in the approaching twentieth century or would blacks finally be able to experience freedom?

About the Author:
Tim McNeese is an associate professor of history at York College in York, Nebraska

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathryn Erskine
Part of the "Great Supreme Court Decisions" series, this volume explains the devastating 1896 Supreme Court decision legitimizing Jim Crow laws in the United States. The landmark case resulted in institutionalized discrimination against blacks for sixty years until Brown v. Board of Education began the slow unraveling of decades of ingrained racism. Of interest to readers may be the fact that Homer Plessy, acting on behalf of civil rights organizations, purposely entered a train car for whites and then announced that, being one-eighth black, he was violating the law. His arrest was a planned act of civil disobedience in order to start a case that would eventually end up at the Supreme Court. Unfortunately for Plessy and his supporters, the United States was not ready for equality and only one Supreme Court justice, John Harlan, dissented from the majority opinion. This is valuable book for middle and upper school students, with a glossary, index, timeline, and list of resources to aid research.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791092378
Publisher:
Chelsea House Publishers
Publication date:
11/28/2006
Series:
Great Supreme Court Decisions Series
Pages:
136
Product dimensions:
6.70(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

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