Monday, June 7: Plessy Day

Monday, June 7: Plessy Day

Civil rights legend honored with music, discussion, and a performance by NOCCA students

The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, The Crescent City Peace Alliance, and the Plessy & Ferguson Foundation invite you to A Celebration of Progress: Homer Plessy Day 2010 on Monday, June 7 at 6pm. Carl Leblanc and the Big Easy Street Team will open the event with a second-line from the site of Homer Plessy’s arrest at the corner of Press and Royal Streets to NOCCA’s campus. They will perform “His Last Parade”, an original composition written by Carl Leblanc and the only tune written in honor of Homer Plessy.

The centerpiece of this year’s celebration will be a performance by NOCCA’s drama division entitled SE-PA-RATE: Plessy v. Ferguson. The play is an original work exploring segregation from 1890 to 2010. This evolving performance piece was created by NOCCA faculty member Silas Cooper and members of the Tectonic Theater Project. The performance will be followed by a question and answer session with the students; Keith Plessy and Phoebe Ferguson of the Plessy & Ferguson Foundation; author Keith Weldon Medley; and Reggie Lawson of the Crescent City Peace Alliance. The talkback will be moderated by Dr. Raynard Sanders, and it will be followed by a casual reception.

The arrest of Homer Plessy on June 7th, 1892 was part of an organized effort by The Citizens Committee to challenge Louisiana’s Separate Car Act. While many consider the Civil Rights movement to have begun in the 1950’s, the fact is that communities were organizing for equal rights much, much earlier. The Citizen’s Committee’s work culminated with the Supreme Court case Plessy vs. Ferguson, which cemented in law the concept of “separate but equal”.

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