Homer Plessy had only one black great grandparent

In 1895, when Justice Henry Billings Brown ruled that Louisiana’s law segregating train cars was constitutional, he didn’t want to get into the messy business of determining whether or not passenger Homer Plessy was actually black. Though only possessing “one eighth African blood,” with “the mixture of colored blood” not “discernible in him,” whether Plessy was black was a matter for the state to decide.

“[T]here is a difference of opinion in the different States, some holding that any visible admixture of black blood stamps the person as belonging to the colored race,” wrote Brown, “others that it depends upon the preponderance of blood; and still others that the predominance of white blood must only be in the proportion of three-fourths.” [link]

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s