Plessy, "separate but equal" namesake, recommended for pardon: NPR | MCU Times

Plessy, “separate but equal” namesake, recommended for pardon: NPR

A marker at Homer Plessy’s funeral home is seen on St. Louis No. 1 Cemetery in New Orleans.

Beth J. Harpaz / AP


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Beth J. Harpaz / AP


A marker at Homer Plessy’s funeral home is seen on St. Louis No. 1 Cemetery in New Orleans.

Beth J. Harpaz / AP

NEW ORLEANS – A Louisiana board of directors voted Friday to pardon Homer Plessy, the namesake of the 1896 “separate but equal” U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upholds state separation laws.

The State Board of Pardon’s unanimous decision to clear the Creole man’s list of a verdict for refusing to leave a train car that is only for whites in New Orleans now goes to Governor John Bel Edwards, who has the final say on the pardon.

Plessy was arrested in 1892 after boarding the train car as part of a civil rights group’s efforts to challenge a state law mandating separate seating.

That was decided by the Supreme Court Plessy mod Ferguson that state racial segregation laws did not violate the Constitution as long as the facilities for the races were of the same quality.

Plessy pleaded guilty to violating the Separate Car Act a year later and was fined $ 25. He died in 1925 with the verdict still on his record.

Descendants of Plessy and John Howard Ferguson, the judge who oversaw his case in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court, became friends decades later and formed a non-profit organization that advocates for civil rights education.

Other recent efforts have recognized Plessy’s role in history, including a 2018 vote in New Orleans City Council to rename a section of the street where he tried to board the train in his honor.

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