IPR is featuring some of the many Black American pioneers and landmark events to celebrate Black History Month.

Plessy v. Ferguson was a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1896 that upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation under the “separate but equal” doctrine.

The case stemmed from an 1892 incident in which Homer Plessy, who was seven-eighths white and one-eighth Black, refused to sit in a car for Black people. A New Orleans civil rights organization chose Plessy, one of its members, for this act of protest because he could pass for a white man. Plessy was arrested and charged with violating the Separate Car Act.

At Plessy’s trial in U.S. District Court, Judge John H. Ferguson dismissed his contention that the act was unconstitutional. The case was taken to The Supreme Court where it was ruled that a law that “implies merely a legal distinction” between white people and Black people was not unconstitutional. As a result, restrictive Jim Crow legislation and separate public accommodations based on race became commonplace until this ruling was overturned by The Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka in 1954.

Overlooked No More: Homer Plessy, Who Sat on a Train and Stood Up for Civil Rights
The New Your Times

Plessy v. Ferguson

Plessy v. Ferguson

Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
Follow on Twitter

Leave a Reply