Phoebe Ferguson found it "daunting" when she learned her grandfather prevailed in a U.S. Supreme Court case that made segregated schools and even train travel the law of the land.
On the flip side of that case, Keith Plessy is humbled to be the descendant of Homer Plessy, a black man arrested in 1892 when he rode in a white-only railway car in New Orleans.
In 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson became synonymous in the United States with the doctrine of "separate but equal," meaning separate facilities for blacks and whites were constitutional as long as they were equal. It was applied to schools, restaurants, theaters, restrooms and other public facilities.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Plessy, Ferguson descendants to speak in Topeka Sunday
The 1896 Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson established the doctrine of separate but equal, which was overturned by the U. S. Supreme Court in 1954. Descendants of Plessy and Ferguson will speak 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24, at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka, Kan.: