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Plessy v. Ferguson Primary Source Activity

Plessy v. Ferguson Primary Source Worksheet teaches students about one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in history, forcing African Americans to live with Jim Crow laws for the following 50 years. Students are guided through the case while examining excerpts of the Supreme Court decision. This can be used in class or as homework as it’s a completely stand alone assignment. This is also perfect for substitute teacher plans. And of course, a key is included.


The Supreme Court case, Plessy vs. Ferguson, stated that being separate but equal was okay. Later that case was overturned in 1954 with the Supreme Court case, Brown vs. Board of Education. This case was important because it brought segregation into the US, which left a negative impact in the American society.

from The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross

Who Were Plessy and Ferguson? African American History Blog

‘Plessy v. Ferguson’: Who Was Plessy? by Henry Louis Gates, Jr

Homer Plessy (born March 17, 1862) was the plaintiff in the landmark case Plessy v. Ferguson after being arrested for attempting to ride in a "whites only" railroad car. The 7-1 Supreme Court decision upheld segregation using the term "separate but equal".


The Court's decision in Plessy v. Ferguson ushered in an era of legally sanctioned racial segregation. Above, an African American man stands...


On June 7, 1892 Homer Plessy bought a first class ticket and boarded a "whites only" car of the East Louisiana Railroad in New Orleans. This was a test case organized by the Comite de Citoyens, with Plessy being chosen for "being white enough to gain access to the train and black enough to be arrested for doing so." After four years in court it ended in the landmark Plessy v Ferguson decision of 1896 upholding the constitutionality of "separate but equal" facilities. #TodayInBlackHistory