Plessy v. Ferguson

In June of 1892, Homer Plessy was arrested for violating Louisiana’s Separate Car Act. The Plessy v. Ferguson ruling is well known, but less familiar is the incredible organizing by the Comité des Citoyens that led to this test case. The Comité dedicated years to fundraising, strategic planning, public education (with The Crusader newspaper), and more. Regardless of the court decision, the Comité played an important role in U.S. history. Here is an excerpt from an article by Keith W. Medley (author of We As Freemen: Plessy v. Ferguson) about the organizing by the Comité des Citoyens. “We, as freemen, still believe that we were right and our cause is sacred.” —Statement of the Comité des Citoyens, 1896