1896: Plessy vs. Ferguson and the “One Drop Rule”

Moment in History:

In 1896, Homer Plessy, was considered “black” under Louisiana law due to his ancestry despite his light skin and ability to pass as white. He was arrested while sitting in the “white” car of a Louisiana train, violating the 1890 mandate which called for separate but equal travel accommodations for all passengers. The case was brought to trial and escalated all the way to the U.S. Supreme court which “ruled that racially separate facilities, if equal, did not violate the Constitution. Segregation, the Court said, was not discrimination.”

An Expert’s Perspective

More information at:

Separate is Not Equal, Brown vs. Board of Education