“separate but equal”

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1868, called for equal treatment under the law. In 1892, a Black man named Homer Plessy was arrested for sitting in a train car designated for Whites. His case, Plessy v. Ferguson, went to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court ruled that as long as facilities were equal, segregation was constitutional. Jim Crow laws, named after a derogatory minstrel show character, began when Reconstruction ended in 1877. While the laws maintained separate services, they were often not equal.

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