In 1896, in the case of Plessy vs. Ferguson, the Supreme Court ruled that segregation was allowed, as long as facilities were equal, or the phrase “separate but equal”. They believed that it was alright to have separate facilities for colored and white people, as long as everyone had an equal stance. The ruling was only meant for passenger accommodations on a railroad, but was applied to all aspects of life, and to all sorts of unequal treatment which eventually led to the case of Brown vs. Board of Education in Topeka, Kansas, one of the most important cases in US history. The Brown vs. Board of Education case integrated colored and white students in schools, and changed segregation forever.
In my opinion, the case of Plessy vs. Ferguson was one of the worst rulings in history. Following the belief that separate facilities for colored and white people would be maintained equally, and to expect this to not be a problem was a bad assumption by the U.S. government. Not only did they not treat colored and whites equally, but they also made colored people feel so degraded, so much so that they were made to feel more like slaves than anything else. It is no wonder that the case of Brown vs. Board of Education came up fifity-eight years later. However, it is still surprising that for near half a century, colored people took this ill treatment and lived with the situations and conditions forced upon them. They tried to protest quietly, or by peaceful protests, which was a form of protest started by Mahatma Gandhi, and later used by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. himself.
Slavery, and any other forms of cruelty have been utilized in debasing people of different colors, backgrounds, and ethnicities. For centuries, different groups of people have used slavery and other forms of brutality to bring down different ethnic groups for their own pleasure, their own benefit, or simply to wound others internally. At this time, people like Dr. King and Rosa Parks played such important roles in giving encouragement to colored people, and to get them to stand up for themselves and fight back for one of their birth rights, the right to be free. It hurts to see similar situations in the past such as the Holocaust, where Hitler brutally killed millions of Jewish people, just to exterminate the entire race from the face of the world. He may have had his own reasons, but he showed no humanity as he