I just visited New Orleans and on the edge of the Bywater neighborhood I came across this historic marker to Homer Plessyy and his failed effort in 1892 to challenge Jim Crow. Mr. Plessy, the member of a group of New Orleans citizens opposed to segregation, purposely challenged a city ordinance requiring blacks and whites to sit in separate cars on trolleys. The subsequent court case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, with Plessy and supporters arguing the segregation was a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. Plessy’s challenge of Jim Crow failed, but it was a powerful early effort to bring down institutional segregation in the American South.
For the U.S. Supreme Court decision and more, click here.