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The Grand Strategy Of The Battle Against The Separate But Equal Legal Doctrine, Conceived By NAACP Special Counsel Charles Hamilton Houston And Fought By The Cadre Corp Of Black Lawyers He Mentored In The Struggle, Ultimately To Overturn The Supreme Court's Plessy v. Ferguson Decision, Realized With His Protege Thurgood Marshall's Brown v. Board of Education Case, Presented In The Highest DVD Quality MPG Video Format Of 9.1 MBPS As An Archival Quality All Regions Format DVD, MP4 Video Download Or USB Flash Drive (Color, 1991, 58 Minutes.) #CharlesHamiltonHouston #ThurgoodMarshall #BrownVBoardOfEducation #PlessyVFerguson #SCOTUS #NAACP #Segregation #SeparateButEqual #OliverHill #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 made by the U.S. Supreme Court that codified the constitutional doctrine for racial segregation laws. In the eyes of the court as long as the segregated facilities were equal in quality, African-Americans could be served separately from the white population. The decision of the court is more commonly known as "separate but equal". The decision legitimized the many state laws seeking to re-establish white supremacy in the former Confederate States after Reconstruction (1865-1877). The case entered the judiciary when 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. This law required black passengers to be seated in separate passenger cars on Louisiana railroads from the white travelers. Plessy was charged with boarding a "whites-only" car, Plessy pleaded not guilty, contending that the law was unconstitutional. He was convicted at the district level. Plessy appealed his case but the conviction was sustained by the Louisiana Supreme Court. Plessy then appealed to the only court capable of overriding his state's decision, 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 arguments that the Louisiana law inherently implied that black people were inferior. With the strike of a gavel the court ushered in racial segregation in the United States by giving states the power to enact criminal statutes that separated black people from society. Segregation impaled the lives of millions of African-Americans as they were barred from restaurants, hospitals, hotels, housing, schools, job prospects, and interpersonal relationships because of their skin color. Justice John Marshall Harlan was the only justice who contradicted the Court's decision. Harlan, now known as the "Great Dissenter", wrote, "the 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 the infamy of the case, the decision itself has never been explicitly overruled. During the Civil Rights era (1953-1968) the court started the process of repealing the decisions made in Plessy. In 1954 the court heard the case of Brown v. Board of Education. Brown v. Board held that the "separate but equal" doctrine is unconstitutional under the fourteenth amendment, in the context of public schools and educational facilities, because separating the races implies inequality. The momentum from the Brown decision severely weakened Plessy and segregation to the point that it is considered to have been de facto overruled. Segregation based on race would finally be legislated out nationwide when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed and enforced the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights of 1965, and Civil Rights Act of 1968.
Charles Hamilton Houston (September 3, 1895 - April 22, 1950) was a prominent African-American lawyer, Dean of Howard University Law School, and NAACP first special counsel, or Litigation Director. A graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Law School, Houston played a significant role in dismantling Jim Crow laws, especially attacking segregation in schools and racial housing covenants. He earned the title "The Man Who Killed Jim Crow". Houston is also well known for having trained and mentored a generation of black attorneys, including Thurgood Marshall, future founder and director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the first Black Supreme Court Justice. He recruited young lawyers to work on the NAACP's litigation campaigns, building connections between Howard's and Harvard's university law schools.
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.