Plessy V. Ferguson's Theory Of Civil Rights

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For nearly a century, the United States was occupied by the racial segregation of black and white people. The constitutionality of this “separation of humans into racial or other ethnic groups in daily life” had not been decided until a deliberate provocation to the law was made. The goal of this test was to have a mulatto, someone of mixed blood, defy the segregated train car law and raise a dispute on the fairness of being categorized as colored or not. This test went down in history as Plessy v. Ferguson, a planned challenge to the law during a period ruled by Jim Crow laws and the idea of “separate but equal” without equality for African Americans. This challenge forced the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of segregation, and in result of the case, caused the nation to have split opinions of support and …show more content…

The NAACP’s primary goal during Du Bois’ time was to invalidate the decision of Plessy v. Ferguson. He was fond of Booker T. Washington, mentioned earlier, and many of his own views surrounded the concept of double consciousness. Du Bois believed that as a result of Plessy v. Ferguson African Americans began to judge themselves based on white standards, ultimately leading to the internal acceptance of inferiority. He describes the state of double consciousness as, “a peculiar sensation this double consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others…” (143). In other words, black people have reached a state of double consciousness where they look at themselves in the way that white people look at them. It was commonly conceived by white people that African culture is inferior to their own. Du Bois later claims, “the sense of identity thrust upon black Americans living in a world in which white political and economic leaders assumed that to be American was to be white.”

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