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ASSIGNMENT: Who Is A Person In America?

1896 Plessy v Ferguson
Lydia E.

plessy_pic2.jpg
jb_progress_plessy_1_e.jpg
seperate waiting rooms for white and black people
( www.culturequest.us/ecomm/annstillman )
Blacks and whites drank from separate water fountains
( www.loc.gov )


TASK I:
Write a journal/newspaper style article in which you take a neutral stance (as a reporter) and give the facts about the actual event. What led up to the event? What happened during the actual event? Did it have an “end” or is it unresolved? You are to write about this event when it happened, you are assuming the role of a reporter in 1850, 1920, etc., not someone looking back from 2011. You need to cite your sources, and they must include information only available during that time period. At least one source must be primary and/or an eyewitness account. Important - This work will be submitted to TurnItIn.com. We will provide you information about using this helpful resource!

Separate Coaches for white and colored?

The Supreme Court upheld this statute of Louisiana

May 19th, 1896
by Lydia Eicher

Yesterday the Supreme Court of the United States decided that the law of Louisiana which says, that there have to be separate coaches for white and colored people is not unconstitutional as long as the comfort is the same. With this decision they ruled against Homer Plessy, who violated against this law in 1892, and found him guilty.
He sat in a coach for white people although he had black origins.

Homer Plessy had no problems to buy a ticket and enter the section for the white people of the East Louisiana Railroad Company railcar, because was a black Creole and had white skin, but black origins.
In the train he offered the conductor, that he was a black, not allowed to sit in this section and violating against the law.
This act was organized of members of New Orleans Citizens’ Committee. They wanted the Supreme Court notice that racism exists. They though if they were “taking the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, exposing the racial existing in the South, and legally enforcing a halt to such practices (Sherman)” would become true. They hoped that the Supreme Court noticed that there is racism and would prohibit it.

Justice Harlan was the only member of the Supreme Court of the United States who was against this decision. He didn’t want the law for segregation between black and white people become legal, because “ it would be just reasonable to require separate coacher for Americans and foreigners; for men of the Latin race, …(Separate).” To him it didn’t make sense to segregate people because of their origins.

The act Plessy versus Ferguson ended good for white people in the US. Especially people in southern states are happy about the new law because “Plessy versus Ferguson opened the flood gates for southern states to legally segregate society according to race and marginalize the African American people by depriving them of their constitutional rights as U.S. citizen (Sherman).” So they can segregate blacks and whites now legally.


Sherman, Dawn M. "Plessy v. Ferguson." American History. ABC-CLIO, n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2011.

"SEPARATE COACH LAW UPHELD." The Washington Post 19 May 1896: n. pag. PDF file.

Task 1: Mastery Rubric
A quality news article will:
•open with an attention-grabbing headline
•identify the author's name and the date of the publication (in the past)
•develop the 5 W's in three power paragraphs
•paragraph 1: contain an interesting lead
•paragraph 2: correctly cite a secondary source (an indirect quote)
•paragraph 3: correctly cite a primary source (eyewitness account)
•maintain appropriate journalistic voice
•read like an article written in the same time period as the event occurred
•be free of mechanics and Works Cited errors

TASK II
What is the Argument?

Should white and black people be kept separate in public places, in this case, railroad coaches?

PROMPT 1: Why did the majority of Americans not recognize the rights of members of this group?POST PARAGRAPH HERE

PROMPT 2: How did advocates for the minority group shed light on this injustice?POST PARAGRAPH HERE

TASK III:
Paragraph 1: Analyze the impact of the literary or artistic work for the minority group and/or American society as a whole.

I, Too

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"
Then.

Besides,
They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--

I, too, am America.

I Hear America Singing
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe
and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off
work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deck-
hand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing
as he stands,
The woodcutter's song, the ploughboy's on his way in the morn-
ing, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work,
or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young
fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.


Poetry is a means of expression feelings. Whitman did this by celebrating America and American hard work, determination and unity in the poem “I hear America singing”, which he wrote in the mid 1800’s.
About 100 years later, in the 1940’s, there were still people in America who didn’t think and feel like they were one of the Americans, Whitman talked about, because of segregation between white and black people and discrimination of blacks.
Hughes, who was one of them, expressed in the poem “I, too” the idea that black Americans are a part of America, but that they are treated differently (I, Too). In the pert “They’ll see how beautiful I am and be ashamed- I, too, am America” of this poem he says that segregation and discrimination of black people is not right and not fair but they have to live with it. And one day the white people will se that blacks are also persons and that discriminate them was wrong and they will be ashamed for what they did.

"I, Too." Applebee, Arthur N., et al. The Language of Literature. N.p.: Mc Dougal Littell,
2002. Print.

Paragraph 2: CLOSING-- How did the event impact the debate on the argument?

In and after the time Plessy versus Ferguson took place the African American had a hard time about their rights in the United States. Because of the decision of the Supreme Court about Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 the blacks had much less rights than white people for a very long time.
But the case also published discrimination of black people and it even reached the Supreme Court of the United States.
If we now look back we notice that it was wrong and embarrassing to make segregation between people with different origins and skin color legal.
TASK III: Artistic Expression Element Rubric
An outstanding product will.
•showcase a work that expresses a profound idea about your event and the argument surrounding it
•be the best example available, not simply the first one you find
•demonstrate your ability to interpret the meaning of the literary or artistic piece You did a good job explaining the meaning of Hughes' poem and making the connection to Whitman's poem and the Plessy v. Ferguson case.
•use the extended power paragraph format as a means to express your understanding of the event, argument, and how art literature and art
can reveal emotions and ideas
•reference sources accurately Be sure to include citations for both poems.
•mechanics are clean and effective You are coming along nicely with your writing. Keep up your hard work!
Rubric for the Time Line Page
An outstanding time line entry includes the following:
• Opens by identifying you, the author, and your event with a banner headline (see an example of a banner on the top of this page).
• Under the banner, in the table place two graphics or photos that illustrates an important aspect of the event.
• Thoughtful responses to each prompt are supported by credible sources representing diverse perspectives on the event.
Each response should be posted in order (follow template instructions), contain few mechanic errors and follow the power paragraph format.
• The credibility of each cited source is established and internal citations accurately match the Works Cited.• TASK I and TASK II each introduce and cite two new sources; TASK III cites one new source.• The Works Cited lists 5 credible sources from the LC databases.