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The Informative, Factual And Moving Story Of The NAACP's Legal Campaign To Overturn The Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court Decision, A Ruling Which Allowed For Separate But Equal Segregation Wherever States Had Not Prohbited It; A Campaign Fought Through A Series Of Carefully Chosen Legal Battles Conducted Over The Course Of Decades In An Effort To Build A Comprehensive Set Of Supportive Legal Precedents; Battles Sometimes Fought (And Won) Within The Halls Of The Supreme Court Itself; Ultimately Culminating In The Landmark Brown v. Board Of Education Decision Which Overturned Plessy By Ruling That Segregation Was Unconstitutional: A Campaign Reenacted In This Moving And Factually Accurate Docudrama Based On Richard Kluger's Book "Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality" Starring Peter Francis James As Thurgood Marshall, James Avery As Charles Hamilton Houston And Scott Whitehurst As Oliver Hill, Presented In The Highest DVD Quality MPG Video Format Of 9.1 MBPS In An Archival Quality 2 Disc All Regions Format DVD Set, MP4 Video Download Or USB Flash Drive! (Color, 1991, 2 Hours 20 Minutes) #BrownVBoardOfEducation #NAACP #ThurgoodMarshall #CharlesHamiltonHouston #OliverHill #PlessyVFerguson #SCOTUS #Segregation #SeparateButEqual #JimCrow #RacialSegregation #Racism #AfricanAmericanCivilRightsMovement #AfricanAmericanHistory #Docudramas #Teleplays #RichardKluger #PeterFrancisJames #JamesAvery #Scott Whitehurst #AmericanHistory #USHistory #HistoryOfTheUS #DVD #VideoDownload #USBFlashDrive
Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896), was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation laws for public facilities as long as the segregated facilities were equal in quality, a doctrine that came to be known as "separate but equal". The decision legitimized the many state laws re-establishing racial segregation that had been passed in the American South after the end of the Reconstruction Era (1865-1877). The case originated in 1892 when Homer Plessy, an octoroon (person of seven-eighths white and one-eighth black ancestry) resident of New Orleans, deliberately violated Louisiana's Separate Car Act of 1890, which required "equal, but separate" railroad accommodations for white and non-white passengers. Charged with boarding a "whites-only" car, Plessy pleaded not guilty, contending that the law was unconstitutional. He lost at trial, and the conviction was sustained by the Louisiana Supreme Court. Plessy then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. In May 1896, the Supreme Court issued a 7-1 decision against Plessy, ruling that the Louisiana law did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and stating that although the Fourteenth Amendment established the legal equality of whites and blacks it did not and could not require the elimination of all "distinctions based upon color". The Court rejected Plessy's lawyers' arguments that the Louisiana law inherently implied that black people were inferior, and gave great deference to American state legislatures' inherent power to make laws regulating health, safety, and morals-the "police power"-and to determine the reasonableness of the laws they passed. Justice John Marshall Harlan was the lone dissenter from the Court's decision, writing that the U.S. Constitution "is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens", and so the law's distinguishing of passengers' races should have been found unconstitutional. Plessy is widely regarded as one of the worst decisions in U.S. Supreme Court history. Despite its infamy, the decision itself has never been explicitly overruled. However, a series of subsequent decisions beginning with the 1954 case Brown v. Board of Education, which held that the "separate but equal" doctrine is unconstitutional in the context of public schools and educational facilities, have severely weakened Plessy to the point that it is considered to have been de facto overruled.
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that U.S. state laws establishing racial segregation in public schools are unconstitutional, even if the segregated schools are otherwise equal in quality. Handed down on May 17, 1954, the Court's unanimous (9-0) decision stated that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal", and therefore violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. However, the decision's 14 pages did not spell out any sort of method for ending racial segregation in schools, and the Court's second decision in Brown II (349 U.S. 294 (1955)) only ordered states to desegregate "with all deliberate speed". The case originated in 1951 when the public school district in Topeka, Kansas, refused to enroll the daughter of local black resident Oliver Brown at the school closest to their home, instead requiring her to ride a bus to a segregated black elementary school farther away. Unlike school districts of other states involved in the combined case, in Topeka the lower courts, while still requiring certain remedies, had found that the segregated schools were "substantially equal with respect to buildings, transportation, curricula, and educational qualifications of teachers." Hence with the involvement of the Kansas case the Supreme Court's findings specifically hinged upon the matter of segregation. The Browns and twelve other local black families in similar situations then filed a class action lawsuit in U.S. federal court against the Topeka Board of Education, alleging that its segregation policy was unconstitutional. A three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas rendered a verdict against the Browns, relying on the precedent of the Supreme Court's 1896 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, in which the Court had ruled that racial segregation was not in itself a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause if the facilities in question were otherwise equal, a doctrine that had come to be known as "separate but equal". The Browns, then represented by NAACP chief counsel Thurgood Marshall, appealed to the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case. The Court's decision in Brown partially overruled Plessy v. Ferguson by declaring that the "separate but equal" notion was unconstitutional for American public schools and educational facilities. It paved the way for integration and was a major victory of the civil rights movement, and a model for many future impact litigation cases. In the Southern United States, especially the "Deep South", where racial segregation was deeply entrenched, the reaction to Brown among most white people was noisy and stubborn. Many Southern governmental and political leaders embraced a plan known as "Massive Resistance", created by Virginia Senator Harry F. Byrd, in order to frustrate attempts to force them to de-segregate their school systems. Four years later, in the case of Cooper v. Aaron, the Court reaffirmed its ruling in Brown, and explicitly stated that state officials and legislators had no power to nullify its ruling.