Part 1: Bibliographic entry
History.com Editors. (2009, October 29). Plessy v. Ferguson. History.com. Retrieved November 16, 2021, from https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/plessy-v-ferguson.
Part 2: keywords
- Compromise of 1877
- 13th amendment
- 14th amendment
- 15th amendment
- Jim Crow
Part 3: Precis
The author explains how on June 7th, 1892, a mixed man named Homer Adolf Plessy bought a train ticket for a New Orleans train and sat in a “whites only” car. The conductor eventually told him he had to leave and he refused, resulting in his arrest. Plessy then filed a suit against the presiding judge, under the pretenses that the law allowing for separate train cars violated the equal protection clause that is in the 14th amendment. By May of 1896, the supreme court decided in an 8 to 1 majority ruling that the “separate-but-equal” public facilities, like the train cars, were constitutional. The author goes on to insist this ruling was the impetus for Jim Crow laws’ pervasiveness until the 1950s. Additionally, the author claims that the mixing of black and white southern Americans was not uncommon until the laws allowing for separate train cars were enacted.
Part 4: Reflections
I was very pleased with the information I discovered from this piece. I think it really helped broaden my understanding while also bringing up some new questions I have which are allowing me to hone in on the topic I want to write about for this research paper. I was really intrigued by the claim that in the south, black and white Americans would mix frequently up until the 1880s. The author cites this claim from an article written in 1964 by historian C. Vann Woodward. I definitely want to look into this and read this article as this claim enabled me to come up with some new potential topics such as “How the Jim Crow era differed from the reconstruction era”. When doing another reflective annotated bibliography I hope to do it on the article by C. Vann Woodward.
Part 5: Quotables
“Then, on May 18, 1896, the Supreme Court delivered its verdict in Plessy v. Ferguson. In declaring separate-but-equal facilities constitutional on intrastate railroads, the Court ruled that the protections of 14th Amendment applied only to political and civil rights (like voting and jury service), not “social rights” (sitting in the railroad car of your choice).”
As historian C. Vann Woodward pointed out in a 1964 article about Plessy v. Ferguson, white and Black Southerners mixed relatively freely until the 1880s, when state legislatures passed the first laws requiring railroads to provide separate cars for “Negro” or “colored” passengers.