Homer Adolph Plessy, born a free man, was arrested and jailed for refusing to move to the “colored” part of the railroad cars upon the conductor’s order on June 7, 1892. Plessy experienced the harsh segregation of the South, despite his being only one eighth black. He took this case to court, arguing that he was denied the rights given by the thirteenth and fourteenth amendment by the railroad company. However, the court’s claim was that as long as the operation was within state boundaries, the law had the right to regulate railroad companies. Plessy’s argument against the law raised attention towards segregation. Segregation erupted into every aspect of life in the South.
Plessy’s refusal against the law, even though he was only one eighth black, showed his stand on segregation. He was standing up, or sitting down in his case, for what he felt was just. He was backed by Committee of Citizens who promoted equality for Whites and Blacks. I believe, like Rosa Parks, he wanted segregation to end through the practice of civil disobedience.
1. What was your reaction to the decision of the court.
2. How do you feel, knowing that segregation was enforced from the impact of your case?