But the courts challenged earlier civil rights legislation and handed down a series of decisions that permitted states to segregate people of color. Separate but equal was a legal doctrine in American constitutional law that justified systems of segregation. Noun. Separate but Equal Doctrine Separate but equal is a term used to define a situation where different classes of people are segregated into different, "equal" facilities. African Americans turned to the courts to help protect their constitutional rights. Origin. Meaning of separate but equal. The rule was expounded in the case Plessy v. Separate but Equal. What does separate-but-equal expression mean? Legal definition of separate but equal: the doctrine set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court that sanctioned the segregation of individuals by race in separate but equal facilities but … Beginning in the 1930s, the NAACP--under the leadership of African-American attorney Charles Hamilton Houston-- began its assault on the \"separate but equal\" doctrine announced in Plessy. NAACP lawyers such as Thurgood Marshall made a two-part argument: that "separate but equal" schools weren't really equal, and that segregated schools hurt black children by making them feel inferior. They've divided up the physical education budget so that the girls' teams are separate but equal to the boys. Clip: Season 1 Douglas A. Blackmon describes the crushing effects of Plessy v. Ferguson and its message that the fiction of equality would be upheld by government. Separate but equal doctrine refers to a now-defunct principle that allowed African-Americans to be segregated if they were provided with equal opportunities and facilities in education, public transportation, and jobs. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. This ruling was followed by several civil rights laws in the 1960s. “Capital” vs. “Capitol”: Do You Know Where You’re Going? May 28, 2013 - Explore Lincoln School's board ""Separate but Equal"" on Pinterest. Separate but equal policy to 1939 Despite emancipation during the Civil War, black Americans continued to face prejudice. Dictionary.com Unabridged A dramatization of the American court case that destroyed the legal validity of racial segregation. For example, They've divided up the physical education budget so that the girls' teams are separate but equal to the boys. This idiom comes from a Louisiana law of 1890, upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson, “requiring all railway companies carrying passengers on their trains in this state, to provide equal but separate accommodations for the white and colored races.” Subsequently it was widely used to separate African-Americans from the white population through a general policy of racial segregation. The NAACP's Thurgood Marshall, who later became the first black Supreme Court Justice, was the lead lawyer overseeing a series of cases leading up to the Brown decision. Definitions by the largest Idiom Dictionary. In the decision of Brown versus Board of Education, in 1954, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled separate but equal schools unconstitutional. The doctrine first enunciated by the U.S. Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537, 16 S. Ct. 1138, 41 L. Ed. This doctrine was long used to support segregation in the public schools and a variety of public facilities, such as transportation and restaurants, where the facilities and services for blacks were often clearly inferior. African Americans turned to the courts to help protect their constitutional rights. Ferguson, and Brown v. Board of Education became the key case before the Supreme Court. Separate But Equal is a 1991 American two-part television miniseries depicting the landmark Supreme Court desegregation case Brown v. Board of Education, based on the phrase "Separate but equal". 1896. They used Clark's doll experiment to make their point. What does separate but equal expression mean? In 1954, in a unanimous ruling to end school segregation, the Supreme Court finally overturned the law (in Brown v. Board of Education). In the pivotal case of Plessy v. Judge John H. Ferguson upheld the law, and the case of Plessy v. Ferguson slowly moved up to the Supreme Court. 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