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Diane Publishing Books
Separate and Unequal: Homer Plessy and the Supreme Court Decision That Legalized Racism
Harvey Fireside (au); Marc H. Morial (in)
On June 7, 1892, Homer A. Plessy, a light-skinned New Orleans shoemaker of African lineage, boarded a “Whites Only” railroad coach. Rather than concealing his Negro heritage, he volunteered it to the conductor, who ordered him to move to the “Jim Crow” car set aside by state law for Negroes. He refused, was arrested, and charged with violating Louisiana law. Plessy’s defiance led to one of the most pivotal civil rights cases in Amer. history, and one of the Supreme Court’s most tragic decisions. Plessy hoped that by offering himself up for prosecution, local people of color would be able to raise a forceful challenge to the South’s entire system of racial segregation, and scuttle the myth of a “separate but equal” society.
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