Plessy v. Ferguson

In June 1892, Homer Plessy, a fair-skinned black man, boarded the East Louisiana Railroad No. 8 train in New Orleans bound for Covington, Louisiana and took a seat in the first-class compartment of a whites-only car. His intention was to test a Louisiana law that provided separate railroad cars for blacks and whites.  Plessy was arrested.  Little did he know that the outcome would be one of the pivotal civil rights cases in American history, decided four years later by the United States Supreme Court.  In the case of Plessy v. Ferguson, the Supreme Court sanctioned the doctrine of "separate but equal," legalizing segregation in the United States for the next fifty-eight years — until the decision was overturned in Brown v. Topeka Board of Education in 1954.

  • Traveling Exhibits, Louisiana State Museum (, accessed 12/21/2005.


|| Tradition of Discrimination || Desegregation of Tulane ||

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