The ruling of Plessy v Ferguson was felt in America for nearly a hundred years after the decision was handed down. After the Civil War ended, blacks all over the nation reached toward the freedoms guaranteed to them by the laws of the land. Imagine the horror that began to...
The ruling of Plessy v Ferguson was felt in America for nearly a hundred years after the decision was handed down. After the Civil War ended, blacks all over the nation reached toward the freedoms guaranteed to them by the laws of the land. Imagine the horror that began to settle into those communities as blacks watched their Constitutional rights (such as those in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments) slipping away. Eventually, blacks in New Orleans decided to take a stand against this erosion of civil liberties and mounted a legal case against laws aimed to segregate races on railway cars.
The Supreme Court decided that the 14th Amendment did not extend to social rights, and a precedent of "separate but equal" facilities took root as the expectation of the country. This was a farce as facilities made available for blacks were never "equal" to the same facilities for their white counterparts.
This had an especially damaging effect on the educational opportunities offered to blacks for many years. Black schools were often in poor condition, there was often no heating or air, and their textbooks were most often those discarded by white schools after years of use. It's not difficult to imagine how a ten-year-old science textbook doesn't provide an "equal" education, but this became the unfortunate educational norm.
Finally in 1954, a decision was reached in Brown v Board of Education that reversed the separate-but-equal approach to educating American students, and that was a definite legal step in the right direction. Unfortunantely, this decision provided no timeline for schools to fully integrate. Thus, there were still segregated schools in America for many more years. Schools in the South were commonly segregated in the 1970s, and as late as 2016, a school district in Mississippi was ordered to integrate its public schools.
The implications of Plessy v Ferguson cut deep segregational divides into America which are still felt today.