Homer Plessy

painted mural of Homer Plessy
Ian Wilkinson's mural of what Homer Plessy may have looked like. There are no pictures of him.


Quick Facts
Civil Rights Activist
Place of Birth:
New Orleans
Date of Birth:
March 17th 1863
Place of Death:
New Orleans
Date of Death:
Place of Burial:
New Orleans
Cemetery Name:
Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1

Step 1: Break the Rules  

You’ve probably heard of the term civil disobedience, but did you know people were practicing it long before Rosa Parks and Dr. King? On June 7, 1892, a small group of activists in New Orleans broke the law in their fight against racial segregation. One of them, a man of color, bought a ticket for the white section of a train leaving New Orleans. That man was Homer Plessy.  

Watch the video to discover what led to Homer Plessy’s act of defiance and to find out what happened next. 

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

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6 minutes, 33 seconds

Homer Plessy was a member of the Afro-Creole community of New Orleans, a shoe maker, and a civil rights activist. He took his rights seriously. Working with the Citizens Committee, Homer Plessy fought back against segregation and white supremacy. What would you do for your rights? Would you stand up even if it was dangerous?

Last updated: February 5, 2021