ABSTRACT

There have been three momentous Supreme Court decisions in the history of Afro-Americans: Dred Scott v. Sanford, Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. The Board of Education. In contrast to Dred Scott, Plessy was decided after the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment which prohibited discriminatory state action in regard to equal protection of the laws and due process of law and after the coming of Social Darwinism which included a body of sociological theories utilized to supplement American conservatism. Considering the historical background of the times, Robert Harris regarded Plessy as “a compound of bad logic, bad history, bad sociology, and bad constitutional law.” 1