Plessy v. Ferguson

Plessy v. Ferguson

(1896) U.S. Supreme Court decision that established the legality of racial segregation so long as facilities were “separate but equal.” The case involved a challenge to Louisiana laws requiring separate railcars for African Americans and whites. Though the laws were upheld by a majority of 8 to 1, a famous dissent by John Marshall Harlan advanced the idea that the U.S. Constitution is “color-blind.” The Plessy decision was overturned in 1954 by Brown v. Board of Education.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on Plessy v. Ferguson, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up Plessy v. Ferguson? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More