Homer Plessy

When I mention the name Homer Plessy, that name doesn’t seem to ring a bell to most people. When I mention the landmark case he was involved in, then his name suddenly rings a bell. What landmark case am I referring to? Plessy v. Ferguson.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this case, the Plessy v. Ferguson ruling backed and upheld the practice of racial segregation in regards to the Separate Car Act. Keep reading because the elements of this case is very intriguing.

Homer Plessy, a shoemaker, laborer, clerk and insurance agent was by law an Octoroon. If Homer wanted to, he could have kept his African ancestry hidden and passed for White, but he refused to. Instead of passing, Homer along with other Free People of Color decided to use their racially ambiguous appearance to challenge the Separate Car Act.

Homer, along with the Citizens Committee, decided to violate Louisiana’s separate car law. Homer and the Citizens Committee wanted to show that if you can’t always tell who is White and who is Black, then why should there be laws in place to separate Whites from Blacks? They had a valid point. Keep reading because it’s about to get even more interesting.

When Homer boarded the “Whites Only” train car, he had no problems boarding. When the conductor came to collect his ticket, Homer told him he was 7/8th White and that he refused to sit in the “Blacks Only” car. Needless to say, everyone within that Whites only car immediately became upset. Why? Because they assumed Homer was White. Had he not revealed himself, no one would have ever suspected his racial background.

Homer and the Citizens Committee had hoped to prove their valid point that if you can’t tell who is really Black and who is really White, why create separate laws? They lost their case due to the insurmountable racism and discrimination that existed during their time, but their efforts were not totally in vain.

The Plessy v. Ferguson case played a huge role in the Brown v. Education case. The Plessy v. Ferguson case was eventually overturned by the Supreme Court decision in the Brown v. Board of Education case. Racial segregation was completely outlawed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Ask yourself this: If Homer Plessy were to stand in front of you, would you be able to detect his African ancestry? What about the rest of the racially ambiguous men who were apart of the Citizens Committee? These men were Free People of Color who could have passed for White as well. Do you know who the racially ambiguous man is below?

I’ll give you a hint: he played a major role in the Plessy v. Ferguson case, he too could have passed for White, was often mistaken as White, but he wasn’t White. In fact, he was half Haitian and half Cuban. Drop your answer in the comments if you think you know. 🤔 I will reveal the answer Tuesday evening.

Until next time…

Freedom

Good morning good people! I wanted to share some of my favorite quotes for Black History Month. These quotes represent what freedom meant for these individuals (during their lifetime) and / or their desire to attain it. These quotes touched my heart and I wanted to share them with you. Enjoy! 🙏🏾 ❤️ 🙏🏾

Until next time…

Lucille Clifton

For Black History Month, I wanted to share one of my favorite quotes by the late poet Lucille Clifton. Lucille’s works of poetry were so good that she almost won a Pulitzer Prize twice.

Lucille is known for several of her quotes, but there is one quote of hers that stands out from the rest. This particular quote was born out of her frustration with racism and discrimination. Lucille was born in 1937, so one can easily see how frustrating it must have been to live during that time as a Black person.

When you see this quote of hers, you will instantly have a connection to it. Why? Because millions of people use this very same quote to offer encouragement and advice. What quote am I referring to?

This one:

Do you agree? 👆🏾 I do.

Until next time…

Vernon Dahmer

Vernon Dahmer was a successful and wealthy Black businessman from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I decided to blog about him for Black History Month because of his bravery and love for his family.

Vernon Dahmer was born in 1908 to a biracial mother and German father. Vernon was very sharp when it came to running a business and according to his family, he got his business sense from his father. His father taught him everything he knew because he himself was also a successful businessman.

Vernon was loved by many of the locals because he provided jobs to both Blacks and Whites. He was generous with his money, caring and was always looking for ways to help his community. Unfortunately for Vernon, his dealings with the NAACP and civil rights movement made him a marked man.

On January 10, 1966, a group of Klansmen torched Vernon’s home with gas jugs and gun fire. To distract the Klansmen from his wife and children, Vernon shot at them as he was literally being burned alive. As his wife and children ran to safety, Vernon stood firmly with his shotgun as the fire began to engulf him from the waste up.

Despite being severely burned, Vernon died from smoke inhalation and damage to his lungs. By standing in that fire to save his family, Vernon’s lungs were literally cooked from the inside. The fire destroyed his store, home and cars.

What struck me the most about Vernon’s tragic story is the fact that he was murdered out of pure jealously and hate. What’s even more unsettling is that some of the Klansmen responsible for his death escaped punishment and continued to brag about it for many years.

Until next time…

Elizabeth Catlett

Good Evening good people! If you are into art, you are really going to like this next Black History month post.

Elizabeth Catlett was an African American artist whose work centered around the Black experience, race, racism and civil rights. Her main purpose for creating such wonderful pieces of art was to represent Black people in a strong and positive light. Elizabeth was known to create pieces that touched on the struggles and triumphs of Black people.

Elizabeth was a visionary artist who poured everything she had into her sculptures, drawings and paintings. I can remember seeing a few of her pieces in several museums and I loved everyone one that I saw. The Museum of Modern Art in New York City has some great pieces of her work on display. As an art lover, I can spend hours in a museum admiring paintings, drawings and my tip top favorite, sculptures!

Good meaningful art has a unique way of touching our souls and making us think.

If you have never seen Elizabeth Catlett’s art up close and personal, you are really missing out. The next time you are in New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, D.C. or Chicago, check out one of their museums because some of her art is displayed there. The Louis Armstrong Park in New Orleans is a good place to start.

Her drawings and paintings are absolutely amazing!

Until next time…

Black History Month

Hello and Good Morning! It’s Black History month everyone! 🖤 For all my new subscribers and followers, throughout the month of February, I’ll be sharing hidden and unknown Black History facts. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Since I’ve been sharing Black History facts on this particular blog, I’ve had many non-Black readers express how intrigued and inspired they are by some of the things I’ve shared. The Black Experience is full of stories of triumph, betrayals and heartache, but it’s those stories, those experiences that deserve to be shared. Especially those who have lost their lives due to racism and false accusations.

Get ready to be educated, inspired and enlightened because what I share is not discussed in schools. I think it’s because many non-Black teachers are afraid to or don’t know how to.

Until next time…