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The United States of the United RacesA Utopian History of Racial Mixing$
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Greg Carter

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814772492

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814772492.001.0001

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Plessy v. Racism

Plessy v. Racism

Chapter:
(p.77) 3 Plessy v. Racism
Source:
The United States of the United Races
Author(s):

Greg Carter

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814772492.003.0004

This chapter discusses the how Republican Superior Court judge Albion Tourgée challenged Louisiana's retrograde system of segregation for blacks, in defending Homer Plessy for riding a “white-only car”. He levied his white parentage against his black parentage, hoping the white seven-eighths would outweigh racial conclusions based on the black one-eighth. Tourgée's brief to the U.S. Supreme Court described the Fourteenth Amendment as the source of “new rights, privileges and immunities, derivable in a new manner” that would result in interracial families of various combinations and a wholesale disruption of racial categories. He recounts what the Reconstruction Amendments attempted to do: expand the Declaration of Independence to include all. However, the Supreme Court rejected Tourgée's argument, sanctioning Plessy for civil disobedience.

Keywords:   Republican Superior Court, Albion Tourgée, Homer Plessy, Fourteenth Amendment, racial categories, Reconstruction Amendments, civil disobedience, black segregation

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