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Title: Homer Plessy Dedication: A Celebration of Progress
START DATE: 2/12/2009
Duration: 1 Hours
Location: Bywater/Marigny
Location Details:
Royal and Press Street, by the train tracks
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Unveiling the long-awaited historical marker for the arrest site of Homer Plessy

New Orleans, LA -- New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, The Crescent City Peace Alliance and the Plessy & Ferguson Foundation invite you to

A Celebration of Progress at the corner of Press Street and Royal Street on Thursday, February 12 at 2PM.

Community members will honor the successes of the civil rights movement on this special day both Abraham Lincoln's bicentennial and the NAACP's centennial by unveiling an historical marker at the site of Homer Plessy's arrest in 1892. The event will feature appearances by Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Bernette Johnson, Tulane professor Lawrence N. Powell, UNO professor and longtime NAACP officer Raphael Cassimere, historian and author Keith Weldon Medley, as well as performances by students from NOCCA, Douglass Senior High School and McDonogh #35 Senior High School.

The 1892 arrest of Homer Plessy was part of an organized effort by The Citizen's Committee to challenge Louisiana's Separate Car Act. While many consider the Civil Rights movement to have begun in the 1950's, communities were organizing for equal rights much earlier.

Although the Supreme Court ruled against Plessy in 1896, their arguments produced Justice John Marshall Harlan's "Great Dissent". Also, the Committee's use of civil disobedience and the court system foreshadowed the Civil Rights struggles of the Twentieth Century.

Keith Plessy and Phoebe Ferguson, descendants of the players in the Supreme Court case, will announce the Plessy and Ferguson Foundation for Education, Preservation and Outreach

. The foundation will work to create new ways to teach the history of civil rights through film, art, and public programs designed to create understanding of this historic case and its effect on the American conscience.

A brief reception will follow.

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