Plessy vs. Ferguson: The Battle of the NAACP and Thurgood Marshall

Topics: Brown v. Board of Education, Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Plessy v. Ferguson Pages: 2 (439 words) Published: May 21, 2006
The NCAA and Thurgood Marshall battled to overturn Plessy v. Ferguson by breaking down the ¡°Separate but Equal¡± ruling and attacking the ¡°separate¡± before directly attacking Plessy v. Ferguson. In Plessy v. Ferguson, a 30 year old shoemaker named Homer Plessy was jailed for sitting in a ¡°White¡± car of a railroad. Plessy argued that the Separate Car Act violated the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution. However all attempts in desegregating the railroad cars were refused and Homer Plessy was found guilty. Justice Henry Brown declared that the 13th Amendment had nothing to do with the case and only to abolish slavery, and that the purpose of the 14th Amendment was to enforce equality between the two races but could not have been intended to abolish distinctions based upon color. So came the ultimate ruling that ¡°Separate was equal.¡± However, groups such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) led by Thurgood Marshall led the attempts to overturn Plessy v. Ferguson and it¡¯s ¡°Separate but Equal¡± ruling. The NAACP did not directly attack Plessy v. Ferguson because they did not have the support needed to overturn such an important case. Therefore, the NAACP started out by taking several small cases that consisted of segregation in elementary schools and middle schools. The NAACP argued that if African Americans were getting a separate education from Whites, even if both school had the same building and the same books, their education would not be equal because they would not be learning from the same teachers or interacting with the same classmates. The NAACP slowly began winning more and more court cases to win desegregation within certain states. Nonetheless, the greater problem lay in the Supreme Court completely overturning Plessy v. Ferguson and abolishing ¡°Separate but Equal.¡± Eventually, with the support of many citizens who were willing to testify for the cause of desegregation, the...
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