Jim Crow in America

Jim Crow in America


Plessy v. Ferguson was the landmark United States Supreme Court case upholding the

Constitutionality of racial segregation in public accommodations, under the doctrine

of "Separate but equal". In this paper I will explain how the era of Jim Crow

started and how they left a lasting effect on African Americans.

In 1890, Louisiana passed a law called the "Separate Car Act", which made it illegal

for blacks to ride in the same coach as whites. The law also provided for the equal

but separate accommodations for the white, and colored races. This was a total

contradiction to the fourteenth amendment which was created to protect the rights of

former slaves. A group called The Citizens' Committee was formed in New Orleans to

test the Constitutionality of the new law. The group chose a man named Homer Plessy

because he was black but looked white. On June 7, 1892, Plessy purchased a train ticket

from New Orleans to Covington, Louisiana and sat in the railroad car designated for

whites only. The result of this test was that Plessy was arrested and charged with

violating The Separate Car Act.

The other name is the case belonged to John Howard Ferguson who was the judge

presiding over Plessy's criminal case in the district court. Ferguson found Plessy guilty

and declared the Separate Car Act Constitutional. The Plessy case then became a major

road block to equal rights for black people in America. The Plessy case was looked upon

as a victory for those who oppose civil rights. I would like to say that this was the official

date of the birth of Jim Crow.

Jim Crow:

The southern states quickly passed laws that restricted the equal access for blacks on and

in trains, hotels and all public places, "Whites Only" and "Colored" signs started to

appear all over the south....

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