On a muggy summer day in 1892, an unassuming, well-dressed shoemaker from New Orleans named Homer Plessy bought a first-class ticket from the East Louisiana Railroad and boarded a passenger car designated “whites only.” But Plessy’s journey was soon derailed. By day’s end, he’d been arrested and convicted. His crime? Being black and boarding the wrong railroad car. Plessy’s act of defiance constituted a violation of the state's separate-car law, a statute designed to keep the races separated on Louisiana's public transportation systems. Over the next four years, his case would work its way through the legal system until it landed on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court. To Plessy supporters, the case served as a signpost for America's future. Would "Jim Crow" statutes continue to define black and white relations in the approaching 20th century, or would blacks be able to taste new freedom? Plessy v. Ferguson: Separate but Equal sets the scene for this benchmark case with solid background information and lively biographies of those involved. Full-color photographs, detailed footnotes, and a chronology and timeline help put the proceedings in context.
Full-color photographs. Glossary. Sidebars. Chronology/Timeline. Further reading. Bibliography. Source notes. Index.
About the Author(s)
Series consulting editor and author Tim McNeese is an associate professor of history at York College in York, Nebraska, where he has taught for 15 years. Professor McNeese earned his Associate of Arts degree from York College, a B.A. in history and political science from Harding University, and an M.A. in history from Missouri State University. A prolific author, McNeese has published more than 100 books and educational materials for elementary, middle school, high school, and college readers over the past 20 years, on everything from Alexander Hamilton to the siege of Masada. His writing has earned him a citation in the library reference work Something About the Author. In 2005, his textbook Political Revolutions of the 18th, 19th, and 20th Centuries was published. Professor McNeese served as a consulting historian for the History Channel series Risk Takers/History Makers: John Wesley Powell and the Grand Canyon.