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1896, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Plessy v. Ferguson. In that
case, the state of Louisiana had a law that provided for separate but equal
accommodations for African American and white railway passengers. An African
American passenger challenged the state law. The Supreme Court held that the
“separate but equal” state law did not violate the Equal Protection
Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The “separate but equal” state
law did not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The “separate but equal” doctrine was then applied to all areas of
life, including public education. Thus, African American and white children
attended separate schools, often with unequal results.
1. Give a brief rendition of the facts of the attached case.
2. Clearly define the issue in the case, then identify the holding of the
3. What are the practical implications of the decision?
4. What evidence or information, if any, might have been helpful in changing
the result for the losing side?
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