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Honors English 10

19 Dec. 2017

Plessy
vs Ferguson and how it affected the U.S. and LR9 in Warriors Don’t Cry

                On the 7th of
June, 1892 Homer Plessy was arrested due to his refusal to move from a seat
that he had rightfully paid for. This would end up pushing the limits of what
is considered constitutional about the “Separate Car Act”. Plessy’s argument
was that his removal went against the 14th amendment, in the case, “Plessy v.
Ferguson”.

By the fourteenth
amendment, all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to
the jurisdiction thereof, are made citizens of the United States and of the
state wherein they reside; and the states are forbidden from making or
enforcing any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens
of the United States, or shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property
without due process of law, or deny to any person within their jurisdiction the
equal protection of the laws. (Transcript)

The 14th amendment may grant these rights, but
the 10th overrules these by placing the court with power to decide on the
constitutionality of any problems not covered previously in the constitution.
The 14th amendment guarantees equal protection, which is the reason why this
decision will harm our beautiful country for decades to come. 

Ferguson reached
the conclusion that “Separate but equal” was constitutional even though now it
would be considered backward and wrong. Ferguson stated, “It the removal of
Plessy from the train does not conflict with the thirteenth amendment, which
abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except a punishment for crime, is
too clear for argument” (“Transcript”). This is one of the statements that
pushed Ferguson towards his ruling. The legalization of “Separate but Equal”
affected people during the civil rights movement in two main ways: the image of
black people compared to white people and the overall infrastructure and
economy of the U.S.

Moreover, black
people before were seen as lower classes and not as good as their paler
counterparts. Without even seeing a person’s ability, black people would be
disregarded or even purposely targeted with negative attention. With “Separate
but Equal” in place segregation spread more and more and blacks were treated
worse and worse even though the name states “Equal”. The non-colored people
would get normal, even nice at times, facilities while people of color might
get a shed or something of a way poorer quality than what the white people
receive. The U.S. was split into colored and non-colored but “states had
troubles determining where to draw the line”(“Plessy v Ferguson.” History, 1:05-1:15).
The white people who thought they were better before were reassured by Ferguson
that they were better. This led to the mistreatment of many non-white people
before the Brown v Board. Furthermore, the ruling affected the economy through
the requirement of multiple buildings. Even if the quality of the space created
for the black people was poor and run down, it doesn’t mean that having to add
more space on top of what you already have is expensive. The ruling increased
costs of owning a restaurant or any other business because of the expectation
that, you will double the size of the area because the spaces had to be
somewhat equal. This is a very inefficient requirement and lost both blacks and
white people lots of money. These problems were nation-wide but you can find
better examples of these effects in local areas like Little Rock.

For example,
Beals says, “at five… I gathered up the money to ride…the man shouted, ‘You
don’t belong here, picaninny!'”(8). This shows that even the youngest of black
people aren’t given any slack. This had a big effect on Melba’s life because
this was her first experience of harsh segregation and hate between races. The
encounter at the merry-go-round forced Melba to grow up faster. On top of that,
the main reason why the integration of LR9 into Central High was so extraneous
and difficult was because of Plessy v. Ferguson. When segregation became
legalized, it widened the chasm between the blacks and the whites in education.
This chasm was forcibly closed by LR9 after they experienced a great deal of
pain and suffering. Plessy v. Ferguson caused the LR9

 

Works
Cited

“Plessy v
Ferguson.” History. http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/plessy-v-ferguson
. Accessed 1 Dec, 2017.

Beals, Melba. “Warriors
Don’t Cry.” Avenue of Americas, New York: Washington Square Press. 1994.

“Transcript of
Plessy v. Ferguson.” Our Documents,

https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=52&page=transcript.
3 Dec, 2017.

 

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