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Homer Plessy and William Still

After the Civil War, Mr. Still went to the cemetery and retrieved his buried treasured: all the notes he written about the hundreds of fugitives he assisted. He then published their stories in a book, The Underground Railroad. William’s book is a legendary gift to humanity. It illuminates the best of us, our oneness with God and each other. Our innate nurturing qualities which allow us to be our brothers’ keepers and to do unto others, as we would want them to do unto us. Being United in faith, is the one consistency throughout history that bespeaks of the Underground Railroad''s characteristics. The participants effortless struggles and miraculous victories are paramount testimonies only second to those written in the Bible.

Although Mr. Still was blessed to witness and partake in the abolishment of slavery, he understood that, as long as he was alive he had to continue to run his race, and fight the good fight of faith; for faith without deeds is dead. One of his most public deeds occurred after the Civil War, his battle with Jim Crow.  These  laws were informal independent discriminatory acts practiced by racist people. Jim Crow attempted to enact  and contaminate the Streetcar industry located in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. Racist politicians introduced and attempted to enforce policies that discriminated against blacks.

Mr.  Still a member of the Pennsylvania State Equal Rights League rallied thirty thousand protesters. The group drafted a bill to prohibit discrimination on streetcars. They forwarded it to State Senator Morrow at which point he signed the bill and it became a law in 1867.

Unfortunately, Philadelphia was not the only city Jim Crow tried to rule. In 1890, he challenged New Orleans. New Orleans was one of the most cosmopolitan cities of North America. Before the Pinckney Treaty of 1795 and the Louisiana Purchase in 1802, it was home to people from all over the world. So thoroughly intertwined were these mixture of New Orleanains, that their comingling  gave birth to a new ethnic or racial identity, notably Creoles and Mulattoes. The Dixie-crats aware of the strength of diversity and unity in New Orleans began  to counteract and disintegrate this Spirit of unity, this unity which contributed to their defeat in the Civil War. Therefore, secessionist  placed physical wedges between Blacks and Whites, they passed Jim Crow laws to prohibit the socialization and the uniting of the races and their idealogies.

Like William Still’s Marie LeCount before him and Martin Luther King’s Rosa Parks after him, Homer Plessy decided to be the symbol of protest in New Orleans. He joined a civil rights group and volunteered to be their spokesperson. In 1890, Homer Plessey was the perfect icon for America’s civil rights struggle. He was an idyllic American symbol, for like the United States, his racial makeup was visibly unidentifiable and indivisible, a tapestry of endless and countless ethnicities.

Moreover, Plessy’s Caucasian features posed a problem for Jim Crow. His supporters could not distinguish his race therefore They could not reasonably explain how they expected the streetcars' conductors to be responsible for Negro detections and ejections. The secessionist remained consistent, whenever they could not justify their actions biblically or morally they resorted to fabrications, their own text, racist science; like the runaway slave/cat disease, drapetomania. Only this time they conjured up a new theory, the one-drop rule. This rule stated if an individual had one drop of blood in their DNA then Jim Crow deemed the said person a Negro.

The secessionist lost the South and it was clear their new frontier was the human soul, the segregation of the heart and mind. If they could convince people to mistreat and judge others solely on the basis of their appearances then they considered themselves the winners in the battle over America’s soul. On November 4, 2008 Americans set the historical record straight and reclaimed the victory of humanity and passed the torch from the abolitionist to the spiritual progressionist, across all demographic lines they elected a president by all appearances is a Black, African American, man.

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