Homer Plessy

The railroad conductor ordering Plessy to move to the "colored" section of the cars

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 orderĀ 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.

Questions:

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?

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4 Responses to Homer Plessy

  1. Avatar of Moti Ankari Moti Ankari says:

    Plessy believed that African Americans should be treated just like the whites. He was concerned that the whites have been treating the African Americans as second class citizens. Also he was concerned that the rights of citizens would be protected. (the 13th and 14th Amendment)

  2. Avatar of Lisa Yin Lisa Yin says:

    Plessy was born on March 17th, 1862 as a free man. He was of mostly white descent except for one great grandmother. One day, he bought a first class ticket and sat in the white seating. The conductor asked if he was a colored man. For that, he was arrested. He was motivated because he felt everyone should have the same rights and that no one should be treated differently. He didn’t wants the African Americans to be denied of the 13th and 14th amendment.

  3. Avatar of victoria. victoria. says:

    Homer Plessy was 1/8th black and 7/8th white, however under a Louisiana law enacted in 1890, this still classified him as Black, therefore wherever he went he would have to sit in the designated “colored section”. However, one day Plessy had decided enough was enough and in an act of planned disobedience, when traveling by train and asked to move, Plessy refused to leave the white train car. He was arrested and jailed. Homer Plessy fought to make a point. Plessy was in favor for equality for all. He devoted his life work to fighting for African Americans. He believed that they should be treated just like the whites and not seen as inferior. He went to all extremes to make people aware of the vast injustice that was being committed against African Americans at the time. I believe Plessy was entirely for the people and what he did that day he did to capture the attention of all those around the country to shed light on the issues at hand.

  4. Bethany Elliott says:

    Since the Plessy incident occured in 1892, I am quite certain that the photo with this article is not of the train conductor ordering Plessy to the colored cars. Teh man in the photo is obviously more than 1/8 black, and the clothingis from the modern era suit, as well as the suitcase.

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