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Homer Plessy: The Separate Car Act (1890)

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In 1890, the state of Louisiana passed a law (the Separate Car Act) that required separate accommodations for blacks and whites on railroads, including separate railway cars.[2] Concerned, a group of prominent black, creole, and white New Orleans residents formed the Comité des Citoyens (Committee of Citizens) dedicated to repeal the law or fight its effect.[3] They persuaded Homer Plessy, a man of mixed race, to participate in an orchestrated test case. Plessy was born a free man and was an "octoroon" (of seven-eighths European descent and one-eighth African descent). However, under Louisiana law, he was classified as black, and thus required to sit in the "colored" car.[4] On June 7, 1892, Plessy bought a first-class ticket at the Press
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