Separate But Equal Equality

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The conflict over segregation has been an issue since the Civil War. After the Civil War, equality was slowed by many court cases and state laws. “Separate but Equal” was a term used to demonstrate that white and black people were to be separated, but have the same facilities available. Unfortunately, this was not always the case. The struggle to achieve equality was made more difficult by the legislation of racism in the Plessy v. Ferguson case. Homer Plessy, a white man living in Louisiana, was the subject of an important court case that set the stage for years of struggle over “Separate but Equal.” His great grandmother was African-American, therefore, even though he looked white, he was classified as black. The Separate Car Act, enacted in 1890, stated that whites and blacks had to be separated in different railroad cars. Plessy bought a ticket from Press Street Depot in New Orleans to travel to Covington, Louisiana. Once he bought his ticket, he got into the whites only railroad car. A railroad employee asked him to move to the “blacks only” cars, but Plessy refused. A private detective, working at the railroad station, took Plessy off the train and arrested him. Plessy was charged twenty-five dollars for breaking the law, and “was brought before Judge John H. Ferguson of the Criminal Court for New Orleans, who upheld the state law. The law was challenged in the Supreme Court on the grounds that it conflicted with the 13th and 14th Amendments” ( After the
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