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Civil Rights Case Study     Name:  Maya  Russell  

Partner:  Jane  Doe  

 

  Case  study:  Plessy  VS.  Ferguson    

What  happened?   summarize  the  event  

 

-­‐In  1890  the  Louisiana  passed  a  law  (the  separate  Car  Act)  that  required   blacks  and  whites  to  ride  on  separate  railroad  cars.                                                                                     -­‐A  group  of  prominent  blacks  and  and  some  white  New  Orleans  residents   formed  the  Comite  des  Citoyens  (Committee  of  Citizins)  dedicated  to   repeal  the  law.  Eventually  Homer  Adolph  Plessy  to  participate  in  a  planned   test  case.     -­‐Plessy  was  born  a  free  man  and  was  7/8  caucasian  and  1/8  African   American,  but  under  Louosiana  law  he  was  classified  a  black  and  was   forced  to  sit  in  the  colored  car.   -­‐On  June  7,  1892,  Plessy  bought  a  first  class  ticket  ot  the  Press  Street   Depot  and  boarded  a  "Whites  Only"  car  of  the  East  Louisiana  Railroad  in   New  Orleans,  Louisiana  bound  for  Covington,  Louisiana.   -­‐The  railroad  company  knew  of  Plessy's  plans,  so  they  hired  a  private   investigator  with  arrest  powers  to  arrest  Plessy  to  make  sure  that  Plessy   was  arrested  for  violating  the  'Separate  Car  Act'.   -­‐After  Plessy  had  taken  a  seat  in  the  'White  Only  Car'    he  was  asked  by  the   detective  to  move  to  the  'Black  Only  Car',  Plessy  refused  and  was  arrested.   Plessy  was  taken  of  the  train  and  dropped  of  at  the  Press  and  Royal   streets.  Plessy  was  remanded  for  trial  in  Orleans  Parish.   -­‐In  the  case,  'Homer  Adolph  Plessy  VS.  The  State  of  Louisiana'  Plessy   argued  that  the  the  state  law  which  required  East  Louisiana  Railroad   segragate  trains  that  had  denied  him  his  rights  under  the  Thirtennth  and   Fourteenth  Amendments  of  the  United  States  Constitution.   -­‐The  judge  ruling  the  case  John  Howard  Ferguson,  ruled  that  Louisiana  had   the  right  to  segragate  railroad  companies  as  long  as  they  operated  in  the   state  boundries.   -­‐Plessy  was  convicted  and  sentenced  to  pay  a  $25  fine.   -­‐The  Comite  Des  Citoyens  took  Plessy's  appeal  to  the  Supreme  Court  of   Louisiana,  the  State  Supreme  Court  upheld  Judge  Ferguson's  ruling.   -­‐The  Comite  Des  Citoyens  appealed  to  the  United  States  Supreme  Court  in   1896.   -­‐  Two  legal  briefs  were  submitted  on  Plessy's  behalf.  One  was  signed  by   Albion  W.  Tourgee  and  James  C.  Walker,  the  other  signed  by  Samuel  F.   Phillips  and  his  legal  partner  F.  D.  McKenney.   -­‐The  arguments  were  winessed  by  the  Supreme  Court  on  April  13,  1896.   Tourgee  and  Phillips  appered  in  the  courtroom  on  Plessy's  behalf.   -­‐  Tourgee  built  his  case  on  violations  of  Plessy's  rights  under  the   Thirteenth  Amendment,  banning  slavery  and  the  Fourteenth  Amendment,   which  states  that  all  U.S  citizens  garentee  the  same  rights  and  equal   protection  of  those  rights  against  the  deprivation  of  life,  liberty  and  

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property  without  sue  process  of  law.  Tourgee  that  being  a  'Black  Man'  was   "property",  by  which  implied  that  inferiority  of  African-­‐Americans  as   compared  to  whites.   -­‐The  final  decision  was  7  to  1  not  in  Plessy's  favor  handed  down  on  May   18,  1869  (Justice  david  Josiah  Brewer  did  not  partisipate  because  of  the   death  of  daughter).          

Why  is  this  a  problem?     Which  human  right  is   being  violated?  

       Homer  Adolph  Plessy  was  a  U.S  citizin  and  7/8  caucasin  was  denied  his   rights.  Even  though  the  thirteenth  amendment  states,  banning  slavery  and   the  fourteenth  amendment  says  that,  every  U.S  citizin  is  gareented  equal   rights  and  protection  of  those  rights  against  the  depravation  of  life,  liberty   and  property  without  due  process  of  law.     The  human  right  being  violated  is  the  thirteenth  amendment,  which     bans  slavery.  Along  with  the  fourteenth  amendment  states  that  every  U.S   citizin  is  gauranteed  equal  rights  and  protection  of  those  rights  against  the   depravation  of  life,  libety  and  property  without  due  process  of  law.    

 

Summarize  two   perspectives  on  this   issue?  

Perspective  1:   Homer  Adolph  Plessy  is  a  U.S  citizin  and  deserves  equal  rights,  the   fourteenth  and  the  thirteenth  amendment  states  that.  He  is  technically   'White',  but  beacause  he  looks  'Black'  he  is  now  denied  his  equal  rights.   The  only  reason  he  is  treated  unfairly  is  because  he  is  black,  even  though   he's  7/8th  cuacasian.  Some  'White'  people  have  more  black  blood  in  them   then  Plessy  does,  but  because  their  geans  aren’t  overpowering  they  are   treated  as  'Whites'.    Also  why  should  being  black  make  a  difference.       Perspective  2:    Homer  Adolph  Plessy  might  not  even  be  white  by  blood.  He  could  just   make  some  accusations  and  suddenly  get  the  right  he  doen't  deserve.   Why  should  we  change  our  sucessful  way  of  life  because  a  black  man,   doen't  like  the  way  our  government  operates.  

  Civil  Rights  Case  Study  cont.    

 

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Who  made  a   difference?   name  the  person  or   group  

-­‐Homer  Adolph  Plessy   -­‐Albion  W.  Tourgee   -­‐James  C.  Walker   -­‐Samuel  F.  Phillips     -­‐F.  D.  McKenney.   -­‐Comite  Des  Citoyens  (Comitee  Of  Citizins)     -­‐Homer  Adolph  Plessy  a  black  man  sat  in  the  white  only  car  promoting   equal  rights.     -­‐Sparked  a  big  court  case.    

What  did  the   person/group  do?  

What  type  of  strategy   would  you  call  the   action(s)  of  the   person/group?  

-­‐When  Homer  Adolph  Plessy  a  black  man  decided  to  sit  in  a  white  only  car   that  was  peaceful  protest     -­‐When  Plessy  took  his  case  to  court  he  along  with  Tourgee,  Walker,  Phillips   and  McKenney  were  lobbying  and  negociating.       Nothing  much,  bea$csue  of  the  lack  of  social  media  (T.V).  People  weren't   aware  of  the  problems  and  the  racism.  Sociaoty  wasn't  ready  for  social   intergration.      

What  changed  as  a   result  of  this  event?  

Social  Media  is  a  very  important  tool  and  there  no  purpose  in  protesting   without  anyone  to  see.  Without  social  media  people  xoundn't  see  how  ba   dsegragation  was,  oyu  could  muder  someone  in  your  own  back  yard  and   have  no  one  cared  becasues  they  didn't  know.  Also  with  all  the  tight  knit   communitys  ba  dpeoplegot  of  scott  free.  But  with  social  media  people   could  be  outraged  and  expose  the  realationships  of  cmmunitys.     What  can  we  learn   from  this  event?  

 

 

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Plessy VS. Ferguson Case Study