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Homer Blessy: A black civil rights activist has been pardoned after 130 years

Racism in the United States
Louisiana pardons black civil rights activists – 130 years later

Louisiana Governor John Bell has signed an apology to Edwards Homer Blessy. Descendants of Blessy and Judge John Howard Ferguson also attended the ceremony.

© Janet McConnaughey / AP

The arrest of Homer Plessis is one of the most controversial rulings in US Supreme Court history. Now the black civil rights activist has been pardoned posthumously – a century after he was arrested.

Nearly 130 years later, after he was arrested and sentenced, black civil rights activist Homer Blessy was pardoned by Louisiana Governor John Bell Edwards. In June 1892 Blessy refused to leave a white train and was later arrested. At the age of 30, he was a member of the Creole civil rights movement Comité des Citoyens and emotionally accepted his arrest for taking legal action against racism. According to his own reports, Blessy was the eighth black, and he could have graduated as white, but was considered legally black.

The trial between Plessis and Chief Justice John Howard Ferguson extended to the Supreme Court. An equivalent treatment rule. However, the Supreme Court ruled 7-1 that racial segregation was not unconstitutional. At the same time, the US Supreme Court has upheld the principle of “separate but equal” for half a century. As a result, places in schools, public transport and hotels were reserved for whites only. Racial discrimination in schools was eliminated until the verdict of the “Brown vs. Board of Education” case, and the United States Civil Rights Act of 1964 abolished racism in the United States.

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Homer Plessis’ pardon is made possible by the 2006 Act

Near the place where Blessy was once arrested, a civil rights activist apologized posthumously to John Bell Edwards. “Although forgiveness is long overdue, we must acknowledge that this is a day that will never happen in the first place,” Adams said, condemning the events of 1892 before the descendants of Blessy and Judge Ferguson. The sole purpose of the Supreme Court ruling is to uphold the supremacy of whites, no matter how immoral or flawed this judgment may be. “The sentence of Home Blessy should never have happened, but there is no expiration date for justice,” Edwards said. The governor used a law passed in Louisiana in 2006 to help repeal discriminatory judgments. The first to be granted under the law is Plessis’ pardon.

Jason Williams, Orleans Parish – Plessis District Attorney who pleaded guilty also apologized. “Even if Homer Plessis committed a crime under the law, it’s actually a crime,” Williams Plessis said at the memorial service. Trained Schumacher Blessy did not return to his profession after his sentence, and died in 1925. However, the families of Blessy and Ferguson grew closer over time. Phoebe Ferguson and Keith Plessy told CBS News that they had jointly founded the “Plessy & Ferguson Foundation”. The organization supports education about civil rights and makes repeated use of the case of its historical name.

proof’s:CBS News, BBC, Britannica