Martin Luther King Plessy Vs Ferguson

2378 Words10 Pages
‘I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.’ On the 28th of August, in 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial declaring to over 250.000 citizens that he had a dream. A dream that one day, all men and women, whether black or white, Jewish or Christian, would be treated as equals. More than fifty years later, King’s dream seems to be nothing more than that: a dream. Just last year, Eric Garner, a black man, is choked to death by the police force in Staten Island, New York. A month later, a young black man is shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. In March…show more content…
Homer Plessy refused to sit in a ‘Jim Crow’ car, referring to Jim Crow who implemented many of the segregation laws. The Criminal Court in New Orleans brought Plessy before their judge; John Ferguson. Though the 13th and 14th Amendments clearly state the abolishment of slavery and that all persons born or naturalised within the United States of America deserve equal civil treatment, John Ferguson found a way around these constitutional laws. The case was passed on to the Supreme Court, who said that the state law “implies merely a legal distinction” between black and white citizens and that it did not come into conflict with the 13th or 14th Amendment. The Supreme Court said that the 14th Amendment’s purpose was “to enforce the absolute equality of the two races before the law…Laws…requiring their separation…do not necessarily imply the inferiority of either race.” Furthermore, the Supreme Court stated that “assumption that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the coloured race with a badge of inferiority. If this be so, it is… solely because the coloured race chooses to put that construction upon it.” Injustices like these towards America’s black citizens were very common at the time, though not all of them reached the Supreme Court. This case allowed for legal “separate but equal” facilities, which seem to be two entirely juxtaposed concepts. It was not until the ‘Brown versus Board’ case, in 1954, more than half a century later, that this provision was reversed. It was Oliver Brown who addressed the inequality of segregation, especially concerning the “equal” treatment of black schools, as they were clearly being neglected by most states. Alongside the National Association of for the Advancement of Coloured People, (NAACP) Brown won the

More about Martin Luther King Plessy Vs Ferguson

Open Document