Compare And Contrast Plessy Vs Ferguson

2051 Words9 Pages

“Separate but equal” It was a phrase that haunts time as a decision that created an insurmountable amount of tension between races, until it was stricken down later in history. Though the decisions of Brown v. Board of Education and Plessy v. Ferguson were the exact opposite, Plessy v. Ferguson directly influenced the decision of Brown v. Board of Education. The court case Plessy v. Ferguson was case brought by Mr. Homer Plessy, who was appealing because he believed the rail car company had no reason to move him from his car just because he was ⅛ black, meaning his great grandfather was black. The Supreme Court’s decisions would go in favor of the rail car company and would echo into history the support of the US in believing the separate …show more content…

Ferguson court case. “During the era of Reconstruction, black Americans’ political rights were affirmed by three constitutional amendments and numerous laws passed by Congress. (Our-Documents)” The three amendments described in the quote is the thirteenth amendment, which abolished slavery, the fourteenth amendment, which gives all people equal protections and rights under the law, and the fifteenth amendment, which says that everybody has the right to vote no matter their race or previous status. This is significant because it lays the groundwork for the justices’ decisions. “Plessy was 7/8th white of Creole descent and 1/8th African. He boarded a train in Louisiana and took a seat in a car marked "for whites only." When he refused to vacate the seat, he was charged with violating a Louisiana statute that provided for separate but equal facilities in railway cars. (Maxwell)” This would be what the court case originally started from, if Plessy was wrong for being where he was, and he went to court to fight the Louisiana law. Furthermore, when the case got to the Supreme Court, it was turned into a question of not if Plessy was wrong for sitting where he sat or if he should have stayed there, but a question of constitutionality. “In the Criminal District Court for the Parish of Orleans, Tourgée(Plessy’s lawyer) argued that the law requiring ‘separate but equal accommodations’ was unconstitutional. (Our-Documents)” This …show more content…

Before the decision is discussed, the background for the case must be explained. “In the 1950’s, Linda Brown was a young African American girl in Kansas who had to walk through a railroad switchyard to get to school. There was a school much closer to her house, but she could not go there because it was an all white school. (Background Summary)” This was a very effective motivator for Mr. Brown, as he felt that his child was being discriminated against and put in danger because she was forced to go to a specific school. Furthermore, there were several plaintiffs that were under the Brown v. Board of Education case, all with very similar motives to Mr. Brown. “This case was the consolidation of four separate cases arising in different states relating to segregation of schools on the basis of race. In each of the cases, black minors had been denied admittance into schools based in their race.(Brown v. BOE)” The combining of cases meant that this was a highly debated topic of the time, that had to be addressed. It therefore meant the Supreme Court knew that the Plessy v. Ferguson precedent needed to either be refurbished or

Open Document