JIM CROW LAWS: Plessy v. Ferguson
by Laura English

Background On June 7, 1892, 30-year-old Homer Plessy was jailed for sitting in the "White" car of the East Louisiana Railroad. Could be considered white but was classified as an African American, and therefore required to sit on the "colored" car. In 1982 he deliberately sat in the white section and identified himself as black. Once he was arrested the case went to supreme court and his lawyer argued that the Separate Car Act violated the Thirteenth and Fourteenth. But he did not win the case, and had to pay a fine.

Who
The decisions of Plessy v. Ferguson had in reality defined separateness for white and colored, and in turn gave whites the upper hand in the quality: the
"seperate but equal" was not true after this.
Blacks were now oppressed by this decision of the supreme court and that of the Jim Crow Laws. and could not defend themselves, as court rulings ordered that the Jim Crow Laws did not pertain to individuals but to that of the government, so only the acts of governement that defied the 13th and 14th were unlawful.

Short term Importance: The Jim Crow Laws caused controversy between races because the laws were passed in southern states after reconstruction (post civil war) and thus, when federal troops left the south, those states enacted the "separate but equal" laws. It meant that everything from restaurants, to bathrooms, and movie theaters were separate: "colored wating room" etc.

Long Term Importance: The Plessy v. Ferguson case made definite leeway for segregation, and during President Wilson's term, this was more and more defined as part of the fabric of the south.

For the Civil Rights Movement: These laws were a huge part of the drive the civil rights movement focused on because blacks wanted the laws repealed, and some were "grandfather clauses" that meant that blacks could not vote for their own rights.

For the Civil Rights Movement: Its overall influence lead up to the supreme court case of Brown v. Board of Education, and hence, it is observed that by that build up of segregation created post-civil war, the mass movement of the civil rights movement was largely motivated by the segregational injustice blacks endured for a century.

The two sides campaigned blatantly for their beliefs on the street. But opposition to segregation was dangerous; in 1963 civil rights leader Medgar Evers was shot carrying "Jim Crow must go!" t-shirts.
The two sides campaigned blatantly for their beliefs on the street. But opposition to segregation was dangerous; in 1963 civil rights leader Medgar Evers was shot carrying "Jim Crow must go!" t-shirts.

Jim Crow Upheld by Supreme Court
Jim Crow Upheld by Supreme Court

Not everyone had even the smallest privileges, like drinking cocacola
Not everyone had even the smallest privileges, like drinking cocacola